ROSEMONT, Ill -- DePaul turned up the pressure on Saturday, building an early lead thanks to Austin Peay turnovers and coasting to a 98-67 Cancun Challenge victory at Allstate Arena. The Blue Demons (2-1) employed an effective press, scored 42 points on 27 Governors turnovers and dominated inside with 58 points in the paint. Cleveland Melvin scored a game-high 26 points, Brandon Young had 17 and Moses Morgan added 15 for DePaul before an announced crowd of 7,398 fans. Anthony Campbell paced Austin Peay (1-2) with 17 points, Will Triggs had 12 and Travis Betran added 11. Starting forward Jamee Crockett of DePaul, who averaged 8.6 points last season, left because of an apparent right knee injury with 12:29 remaining. He crashed to the court after going to the basket. Crockett, whose condition was not immediately known, had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals while scoring five points. He remained on the bench the rest of the way with his knee iced. Intent on avoiding a repeat of last Thursday's 71-59 loss to Gardner-Webb, DePaul piled up 58 points in the opening half, the second-most in any half in coach Oliver Purnell's three seasons. DePaul had 59 points in one half against Chicago State on Nov. 14, 2010. DePaul's lead hit 30 points just before halftime and hovered above that through most of the second half as all 15 Blue Demons saw minutes. The Blue Demons made 40-of-78 shots (51.3 percent) and out-rebounded the Governors, 42-36. Melvin had six early points as the Blue Demons used full court pressure to force four turnovers on the way to a 10-3 lead. DePaul opened the game with eight unanswered points. Austin Peay replied with a 9-2 run over a 2:16 span that briefly closed the deficit to 10-9, but never got closer as DePaul overpowered the Governors to open a 39-16 lead. Melvin and Young already hit double digits with 11 points apiece and 6:43 still to play in the first half. DePaul converted 18 Austin Peay turnovers into 31 points and scored 38 points in the paint on the way to a 58-20 halftime lead. Both teams resume Cancun Challenge play Tuesday in Mexico. DePaul plays Wichita State, while Austin Peay meets Western Carolina. Each also plays next Wednesday against teams to be determined. NOTES: Saturday's game was DePaul's first against Austin Peay, although the Governors did play in the DePaul-sponsored Old Style Classic in 1988 ... It was also Austin Peay's first game against a Big East program since facing Louisville in 2008-09 ... DePaul's 580-consecutive game with at least one three-pointer was in jeopardy last Thursday against Gardner Webb, but the Blue Demons preserved the run when Brandon Young hit a three-pointer with 4:52 to play. On Saturday, DePaul hit the first of nine three-pointers less than seven minutes into the game.
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