CHICAGO (AP) -- Wilson Chandler tied a career-high with 26 points in leading DePaul to an 83-71 win over Hofstra in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday night.
Chandler scored only four points in the first half, but made up for it in the second half, scoring 14 of DePaul's final 29 points and finishing 9-of-13 from the field overall.The third-seeded Blue Demons (19-13) advanced to a second-round game Monday at second-seeded Kansas State. The Wildcats beat Vermont 59-57 Wednesday night.Chandler made consecutive 3-pointers to spark a 21-10 run that he punctuated with an alley-oop dunk to put DePaul up 78-66 with 50 seconds to play.Sammy Mejia scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half for DePaul, and Wesley Green added a career-high 15 points to go with 10 rebounds.Carlos Rivera led the Pride (22-10) with 22 points. Antoine Agudio added 17 and Loren Stokes 10.DePaul was playing on its Lincoln Park campus for the first time since Nov. 20, 1999, when the Blue Demons played their final game at Alumni Hall.It was the first non-exhibition game for DePaul at McGrath Arena, and the first postseason game for DePaul on campus since beating Cincinnati in the NIT on March 20, 1990.The Blue Demons were not able to play at their regular home, Allstate Arena, because of scheduling conflicts.Hofstra kept close in the first half with its 3-point shooting. The Pride made four of nine from behind the arc, never trailed by more than seven points and were within 32-30 with 14 seconds remaining before the half.Marcus Heard made the first of two free throws with 2.5 seconds before intermission, but missed the second.Karron Clarke grabbed the offensive rebound, his shot went into the hands of Green, who put DePaul up 35-30 with his putback at the halftime buzzer.