DePaul snaps two-game losing streak with 75-49 win over Providence


Alexa Sandler/The DePaulia

DePaul guard Dee Bekelja drives to the rim past a Xavier defender in 2021.

DePaul went into the game against the Providence Friars with a bit of a chip on their shoulder following back-to-back home defeats.

The Blue Demons are not accustomed to being on the losing side of things, let alone two straight. All the ills that befell DePaul the last two games seemingly went away in their 75-49 win against Providence.

One of the biggest issues that plagued DePaul the last two times out was getting off to a slow start. After the first quarter against both Creighton and Marquettte, they were forced to play catch up.

This time around, it was a much more vintage DePaul performance as the Blue Demons came ready to play from the opening whistle.

Deja Church, who had been battling an ankle injury, scored the first points of the game with a 3-pointer. A not insignificant tally considering how much DePaul struggled to score from three in their last two games.

DePaul got out to a 22-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. 

One of the mottos during the team’s four-game winning streak was to grow the lead, don’t blow the lead. The Blue Demons kept up the intensity as well as coming up good on their field goal attempts.

DePaul outscored Providence 20-9 in the second quarter to go into halftime leading 42-22. The tale of the first half was their much improved shooting from beyond the arc. The Blue Demons shot 50 percent and 55.6 percent in the first and second quarter, respectively. After playing more conservative with the 3-point attempts in the second half against Marquette back on Wednesday, DePaul went back to the 3-point shot with better results.

In the second-half, DePaul continued where they left off. They were able to take their largest lead of the game, 58-28, in the third quarter. The fourth quarter was the only quarter in which Providence outscored the Blue Demons, 12-11, but by that point the game was very much in DePaul’s hands.

Sonya Morris finished the game with a double-double, scoring 10 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Lexi Held was the game’s top scorer with 21 points to go along with five assists and three steals. Deja Church had 16 points and seems to be feeling much better coming off the ankle injury.

If there was a blemish for the Blue Demons it was the injury to Jorie Allen. She went down with 3:04 left in the third quarter and was unable to play the rest of the game.

But it was almost a complete 180 on all fronts. DePaul finished shooting 55.2 percent, 16-of-29, from the 3-point line and outrebounded the Friars, 39-32. Rebounding was something coach Doug Bruno stressed coming off the loss to Marquette. The improved rebounding limited Providence to only four second chance points.

DePaul snapped their two-game losing streak and now head back to Wintrust Arena to play their final game of the regular season when they take on the Butler Bulldogs on Monday.