DePaul takes care of Providence 80-67 to stay unbeaten in Big East play


Xavier Ortega | The DePaulia

Chante Stonewall celebrates with fellow senior Kelly Campbell in a game against Miami on Nov. 23.

Behind a strong night from junior guard Dee Bekelja and sophomore guard Sonya Morris, DePaul knocked off Providence 80-67 in their first conference road game of the season. With the win, DePaul is now 12-2 overall on the season and 2-0 in Big East play. 

After the Blue Demons defeated Marquette 89-71 on Sunday in their first conference game this season, DePaul embarked on their first conference road-trip in 2020. The first of two road games this weekend came against a 9-5 Providence team that was looking for their first Big East win of the season. 

The Friars, who haven’t defeated the Blue Demons since 2012, began the game by attacking the paint through their star sophomore forward Mary Baskerville — who was named the Big East Freshman of the Year last season. After DePaul scored the first four points of the game, Baskerville poured in six straight points for the Friars.

Providence managed to take a 9-8 lead with 5:23 left in the first quarter, but DePaul quickly took back their lead after Bekelja knocked down her first 3-pointer of the game. Bekelja, who didn’t start Friday’s game, came off the bench early in the first quarter after sophomore guard Lexi Held got into foul trouble. 

Throughout the first quarter, the Friars managed to stay within striking distance by answering every Blue Demon make with their own. Providence took their second and last lead of the game,17-15, with 2:37 left in the quarter. But senior forward Chante Stonewall would answer with an and-one to give DePaul an 18-17 lead. 

Even though DePaul came into the game near the top in the country in 3-point makes, the Blue Demons would only go 2-of-10 from behind the arc in the first half. But they were able to find a different route to score their points, as DePaul would get 18 of their 37 first half points inside the paint. The Friars, on the other hand, made it their game plan to attack the Blue Demons inside, with 22 of their 31 first half points coming inside. 

Going into halftime, DePaul would hold a slim 37-31 advantage behind 11 points from Bekelja. But the 15-minute break that each team got proved to be the turning point of the game. DePaul opened the second half on a 12-0 run to give them a 49-31 lead before the Friars would register their first points in the quarter. 

Not only did it take Providence six minutes to record their first points in the third quarter, but they would also cough up the ball seven times in that span. A layup from Bekelja with 3:53 left in the quarter, gave the Blue Demons their largest lead of the game, 51-34. 

Providence would do their best to try and cut into DePaul’s lead in the fourth quarter, but they never managed to get the deficit into single-digits. Baskerville, who leads the Friars in points, rebounds and blocks, scored eight points in the final quarter to give her 20 points for the night. 

Bekelja would add another four points in the fourth quarter as she matched her career-high in points with 20. Morris, who came into the game averaging 17 points per game, led all scorers with 21 points. 

DePaul will finish their two-game road-trip at Creighton on Sunday before returning home to face Seton Hall on Jan. 10.