AUBURN, Ala. -- Cleveland Melvin scored 21 points and made a steal and two free throws late to lift DePaul to an 80-76 victory over Auburn Friday night in the SEC/Big East Challenge.
Melvin swiped a pass from Rob Chubb as the Tigers tried to set up for at least a tying basket. He drove for a layup with 13 seconds left but was fouled by Noel Johnson and put the game away for the Blue Demons (4-3). Brandon Young scored 19 points and had five assists for DePaul, which has won two straight games.
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Melvin made 9 of 13 free-throw attempts and had 10 rebounds to follow up a 30-point game against Fairfield. Worrel Clahar hit two second-half 3-pointers and had 11 points.
Frankie Sullivan scored a career-high 28 points for Auburn (2-5), which has lost four in a row. Chubb had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Sullivan, who had 20 first-half points, also dished out five assists. He made his first four 3-pointers before missing his last three against a trapping, pressing defense that frequently denied him the ball in the second half.
Johnson added 10 points.
DePaul shot 50 percent (12 of 24) in the second half to overcome a 19 of 33 performance from the free-throw line.
The Tigers went cold as the Blue Demons turned up the defensive heat, making just 12 of 31 shots (38.7 percent) after halftime.
Johnson hit two 3-pointers to tie the game at 72 with 3:33 left.
Then Melvin hit 1 of 2 free throws and Clahar drilled a 3-pointer with 2:15 to play. Auburn twice cut it to two points after that, the second time on a Sullivan drive with a minute left.
The Blue Demons pushed the ball across midcourt before calling timeout. Young drove along the baseline and fired a pass to the opposite side to Melvin, who missed a 3-pointer.
He made sure DePaul got the ball back before Auburn could attempt a shot, when Chubb got caught with the ball around the 3-point line.
Auburn had led 46-42 at halftime after Sullivan made two technical foul free throws with a minute left. Young had made a 3-pointer but then was called for a technical for taunting Auburn students.