(WSCR) – The DePaul Blue Demons took a 14 point lead over the Florida Atlantic Owls during the first half and finished the game nine points ahead. This makes it the third straight victory for DePaul.

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) Freshman Cleveland Melvin scored a career-high 23 points as DePaul held on to a 19-point first half lead to give coach Oliver Purnell his 400th career victory in a 71-62 win over Florida Atlantic on Wednesday night.

DePaul (6-6) led by as many as 19 in the first half, but Florida Atlantic (8-6) was able to cut into the lead.

Greg Gantt hit a jumper to get the Owls within 60-52 with 5:01 left, then Raymond Taylor made a 3-pointer and Dennis Mavin converted a three-point play to get the Owls within 61-58 with 3:18 left.

After Melvin scored, Mavin made two free throws to get it back within three, but the Blue Demons put it away after Melvin and Jeremiah Kelly both hit a pair of free throws to make it 67-60 with 25 seconds left.

Gantt scored 20 points for Florida Atlantic and Mavin added 12.

Updated December 22, 2010

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