SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) -- Sammy Mejia scored 22 points to help DePaul to an 89-81 victory over Rhode Island Saturday.
DePaul (6-5) built a double-digit lead early in the first half, and Mejia helped keep it that way. Three times in the second half, Rhode Island cut the deficit to single digits only to have Mejia hit a shot to put DePaul's lead back to 11 or more.Rhode Island's Jimmy Baron made it 52-43 with a 3-pointer with 15:27 to play. It was the first time Rhode Island (6-5) had the deficit in single digits since it was 15-7 in the first half.But Mejia quickly gave DePaul a 55-43 lead with a 3-pointer.Rhode Island cut it to 63-55 with Will Daniels' basket only to have Mejia hit another 3-pointer, this one with two Rhode Island players in his face as the shot clock expired. That made it 66-55 with 8:21 left.Lamonte Ulmer pulled Rhode Island to 68-59 with a pair of free throws, but Mejia scored back-to-back baskets, the second on an alley-oop from Wilson Chandler that made it 72-59.Chandler finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Karron Clarke chipped in with 13 points for DePaul and Marcus Heard added 10.Daniels finished with 22 points for Rhode Island and Baron finished with 17.DePaul made 13 of the first 16 shots it took in the game. That accuracy helped DePaul build a lead as large as 42-23 after a 3-pointer from Heard with 3:36 to play.DePaul ended up shooting 67 percent for the game.As hot as DePaul was in the first half, Rhode Island was cold, missing nine of its first 10 shots from the floor. Rhode Island was 3-for-23 from the field at one point.