UPDATED: DePaul men’s basketball scores against Houston Baptist 78-58

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[Updated: 10:50 p.m. CST, Wednesday, Dec. 18]

For most of the season, senior Cleveland Melvin has been quiet.

Sure he led the team with averaging 16.6 points per game, but Melvin had yet to have a game where he changed the course of the game.  Even in his last game, Melvin’s 17 points and 11 rebounds went practically unnoticed.

Against Houston Baptist, people noticed.

Melvin posted his second consecutive double-double with 28 points and 12 rebounds, leading DePaul men’s basketball 78-58 over Houston Baptist for the team’s third straight victory.

“I thought that was one of Cleve’s best games here,” Head Coach Oliver Purnell said. “Whether we played him at the three or four, he found post position inside against the zone. I thought he anchored our defense well, with the block shots and changing shots. He was pretty dominant for us.”

Melvin was simply dominant on both ends of the floor. He exploited a mismatch on the inside, shooting 55 percent (11-20) for the game.  Defensively, the senior had two blocks and two steals.

“Coach wanted us to be aggressive from the start so that’s what I did,” Melvin said. “At the beginning to the game to the end of the game, I wanted to provide that spark.”
DePaul (7-4) led 33-27 at the half.  The team went on a 12-2 to give themselves a lead after they trailed 15-14 early on.

The Blue Demons locked down on defense, holding the Huskies to 38 percent shooting and recorded a season-high 10 blocks.
“I thought defensively, we handled the ball screens much better,” Purnell said. “We played it with much more energy and as a result, we were able to get six or seven stops that allowed us to break the game open.”

In the second half, the Blue Demons outscored the Huskies 45-31. The Blue Demons continued attacking the zone and led by as many as 29.

Two other Blue Demons finished in double-figures. Tommy Hamilton IV had 14 points while Brandon Young had 11.

The 20-point victory was DePaul’s largest of the season. This was the team’s last home game as they now prepare for a two-game road trip when they take on Illinois State Sunday and Northwestern Friday, Dec. 27.

“I feel like we’ve got something to build on heading out to Illinois State,” Purnell said. “We’ve been on the road once at Milwaukee and I feel like we took a business approach to that and played pretty good. We’ve got to use that experience and the fact we had a pretty good second half here tonight to build on.”