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DePaul snuffs Wake's home streak

Associated Press
Published December 14, 2005


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Jerry Wainwright finally had a successful return to Wake Forest.

Sammy Mejia scored a season-high 24, including a basket to answer a late Wake Forest run in the final seconds, and DePaul beat the 16th-ranked Demon Deacons 84-81 on Tuesday night to snap their 21-game home winning streak.

Draelon Burns added a career-high 22 points in his first start of the season for the Blue Demons (5-3), who gave Wainwright his first win in six tries against the program where he spent nine seasons as an assistant.

Eric Williams scored 24 for the Demon Deacons (7-2), who looked rusty after an extended layoff. Wake Forest was tied with Utah for the nation's fifth-longest home winning streak and had won 28 straight nonconference home games.

Wainwright was an assistant at Wake Forest from 1985-94 under Bob Staak and Dave Odom before taking over at North Carolina-Wilmington. He spent eight seasons there and three at Richmond, with his teams playing the Demon Deacons in each of the past four seasons.

"The biggest thing, when you play teams like this, you've got to stand in the middle of the ring," Wainwright said. "You cannot get on your heels. I told them before the game, "We're going to get knocked down, you've got to get back up.' And I thought the kids did a good job of that."

Big East

NO. 3 VILLANOVA 62, PENN 55: Allan Ray scored 19 and the visiting Wildcats withstood a 24-7 run late in the second half to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 1995-96. Villanova got off to a shaky start in the first of three straight games against its Big 5 city rivals.

NO. 4 LOUISVILLE 78, CHICAGO ST. 54: Taquan Dean scored 21 and the host Cardinals overcame a lethargic first half to pull away. Louisville (6-0) plays at instate rival Kentucky on Saturday.

LSU 94, NEW ORLEANS 53: Glen Davis had 20 points and 16 rebounds for his fifth double double in six games this season for the host Tigers (5-1).

OLE MISS 77, SAINT LOUIS 64: Balanced scoring and a key 16-6 first-half run lifted the host Rebels (5-2).

AUBURN: Junior guard Michael Woodard was granted a release from his scholarship five games into his tenure with the program as he seeks more playing time.

Top 25

NO. 20 NEVADA 83, SEATTLE PACIFIC 57: Mo Charlo scored 18 and Nick Fazekas added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the host Wolf Pack (7-1), which is off to its best start since 1978 and has won 30 in a row when holding its opponent to 60 points or fewer.

State

FAU 59, UCF 54: Rodney Webb had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the host Owls (3-2) won their third straight.

Nation

OHIO ST. SUIT: Former Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger challenged Jim O'Brien's reasoning for why he shouldn't have been fired, testifying the coach acknowledged a $6,000 loan to a recruit was a rules violation.

O'Brien contends the loan of his own money was not an NCAA violation because he knew Aleksandar Radojevic, a 7-foot-3 prospect from Serbia, already lost his amateur status by playing professionally. O'Brien is suing in the Ohio Court of Claims for $3.5-million in back pay and benefits.

UTEP: Forward Jason Williams is back on the team after his suspension last week for punching teammate Stefon Jackson and breaking his jaw.

Women

NO. 5 BAYLOR 72, MCNEESE ST. 36: Abiola Wabara scored 15 and Jessica Morrow 14 as the host Bears (8-0), the defending champions, won their 28th straight.

NO. 8 MARYLAND 69, COPPIN ST. 38: Marissa Coleman scored 13, and the host Terrapins (9-1) outscored their instate foes 23-4 at the free-throw line.

S. CAROLINA 79, NO. 14 MINNESOTA 61: Junior Shannel Harris matched her season total of 13 points, and the host Gamecocks (3-3) ended a 17-game losing streak against ranked teams.