ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — DePaul was disappointed after its last loss and was determined to play with more intensity.
The Blue Demons did that with their press on Saturday, forcing 27 turnovers in a 98-67 rout of Austin Peay.
Cleveland Melvin scored 26 points and Brandon Young added 17 in DePaul’s second game in the Cancun Challenge.
The Blue Demons (2-1) bounced back from a 71-59 loss to Gardner-Webb on Thursday in the tournament.
“Everybody clearly understood we didn’t really show up the other night,” DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. “We had a chance to atone for that. I thought our guys did a good job with it.”
DePaul scored 42 points off Austin Peay’s 27 turnovers. The Blue Demons set the tone with their press early, forcing 18 turnovers by halftime.
“That’s us coming out with a lot of energy, talking and communicating with each other,” Young said. “We’re brothers out there. We have to keep grinding, keep communicating and keep talking with each other and we keep getting wins like this.”
Melvin, the 2010-11 Big East rookie of the year, was 11 of 18 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Moses Morgan added 15 points for DePaul off the bench.
Anthony Campbell led Austin Peay (1-2) with 17 points. Will Triggs added 12 points and Travis Betran had 11 for the Governors.
DePaul never trailed and built a 58-30 halftime lead. The Blue Demons shot 51.3 percent from the field and 9 of 23 from 3-point range.
Morgan led DePaul with four 3-pointers.
The Blue Demons scored the game’s first eight points. The Governors pulled to within 10-9, but the Blue Devils went on a 22-4 run, and Melvin’s 3-pointer extended the lead to 39-16 with 6:47 left before halftime. Young hit a layup to give DePaul a 30-point lead with 1:23 remaining.
In the first half, Young led DePaul with 16 points and Melvin scored 13.
DePaul made 6 of 14 from 3-point range and Austin Peay committed 18 turnovers before the break.
“We turned the ball over. They picked up the momentum quick. They snatched that away from us real fast,” Triggs said.
The Blue Demons were motivated after the 12-point upset loss to Gardner-Webb.
“In the locker room, we let each other know, we shouldn’t lose any games in nonconference,” Young said. “That’s a game we should have won. We said we’ve got to go out and keep playing hard and play DePaul basketball like we know how to.”
Jamee Crockett, who had five points and eight rebounds for DePaul, left the game with a right leg injury in the second half. Purnell said he was unsure of the extent of Crockett’s injury.
The Governors shot 39.6 percent from the field and were 4 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Crockett and Melvin each had four steals.
“Our pressure defense was outstanding,” Purnell said. “We forced 27 turnovers, and we didn’t really press the last seven or eight minutes of the game.”
The Blue Demons improved to 14-1 all-time against current Ohio Valley Conference teams.
Both teams will travel to Cancun to play the rest of the tournament. On Tuesday, the Blue Devils will face Wichita State and the Governors will play Western Carolina.
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