Rosemont, IL (Sports Network) - Cleveland Melvin tied his career-high with 30 points as the DePaul Blue Demons held off the Fairfield stags to collect an 85-78 victory in a non-conference tilt at Allstate Arena.
Melvin has now scored at least 20 points in two straight games and at least 10 in 20 consecutive contests for DePaul (3-3), which ended a two-game losing streak. Charles McKinney added a career-best 11 points and Donnavan Kirk came up just short of a double-double with totals of 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Derek Needham played the entire 40 minutes for Fairfield (3-4) to finish with a season-high 29 points and eight assists. Amadou Sidibe provided a double- double off the bench with 11 points and 11 boards while Keith Matthews chipped in 10 points in 17 minutes of action. The loss was the second in a row and third in four games for the Stags.
The Blue Demons took a 45-37 advantage into the intermission after they converted 55.6 percent of their field goal attempts in the opening 20 minutes. Fairfield trailed at the break despite shooting 50 percent from both the field and three-point range in the first frame.
DePaul carried its momentum into the second half and went on an early run to take a commanding 57-41 lead with 16:43 left in regulation. The Stags staged a comeback and cut the deficit to five, but would get no closer although they drained 53.1 percent of their shots from the floor after the intermission. The Blue Demons went 14-of-31 from the field, but added 11 makes from the free throw line to protect their lead and claim the seven-point decision.
All nine of Fairfield's players that saw action contributed to the team's total of 19 turnovers. McKinney, Worrel Clahar, and Moses Morgan accounted for nine of DePaul's 11 steals.