DePaul Defeats Fairfield

The Blue Demons avoided a Stag party and got past Fairfield in a 85-78 non-conference win at Allstate Arena on Tuesday night.

DePaul (3-3) held off a late rally from Fairfield (3-4) behind 30 points from junior forward Cleveland Melvin.

Melvin, who tied his career high, carried the load for the Demons.

"That's how we need Cleve to play every game,"said DePaul junior guard Brandon Young who scored 20 points. "You know, running the floor, scoring, rebounding, being a good defender. That's what you're going to get out of Cleve. We need him to be consistent with that through every game." DePaul withstood 29 points from former De La Salle guard Derek Needham.

The Blue Demons led by as many as 16 points in the second half, and fought off the Stags down the stretch.

"I thought we played with more consistency tonight, therefore we got the win," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "I've very encouraged that we can play a lot better."

DePaul scored 25 points off of 19 Fairfield turnovers.

Sophomore Charles McKinney bounced back from a knee injury last week to score a career high 11 points.

Starting center Donnavan Kirk played more aggressively tonight and scored 10 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking four shots.

Freshman Durrell McDonald received his first career start and scored six points.

"I thought that he gave us tempo he gave us quickness out there," Purnell said of McDonald. "He was very good in our pressure defense that got us the lead. He's coming along."

The Blue Demons will now play in their first true road game of the season as they head to Auburn for a SEC vs. Big East Challenge matchup on Friday night.

Box Score

Postgame Notes

- Sophomore Jamee Crockett has been sidelined with a sprained right knee is doubtful for the game at Auburn on Friday. He is likely to return for the game at Chicago State on December 5th.

- The win snapped a brief two-game losing streak for the Blue Demons... the last time DePaul lost three straight non-conference games was in a four-game skid from Nov. 16-28, 2010.

- DePaul used its fifth different starting lineup in six games this season... freshman Durrell McDonald made his first career start.

- DePaul finished with four players in double-figures for the first time this season.

- The meeting was the fourth all-time between the two programs... DePaul has won all four contests.

- Cleveland Melvin recorded his 20th career game of at least 20 points... he has scored at least 20 in two straight games and three of the last four... he extended his streak to 20 straight games in double-figures.

- Melvin's 30 points matched a career-high, matching a 30-point effort against Chicago State on Dec. 10, 2011.

- Charles McKinney scored a career-high 11 points... he previously scored 10 on three occasions.

- Moses Morgan played in his 60th career game.

- DePaul improves to 3-0 when winning the rebound battle and also when leading at the half.


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