Men’s basketball: Blue Demons fall in overtime loss to Providence


Brandon Johnson is defended by Providence’s Ed Croswell, right front, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

The DePaul men’s basketball team faced No. 11 ranked Providence Friars for a tight matchup in front of a sold-out Providence crowd. Entering the game, the Friars were 13-0 at home, and that dominance continued on Saturday as the Blue Demons fell to the Friars 76-73 in overtime.

The Blue Demons entered the game coming off a win over Georgetown on Wednesday, their first back-to-back conference win of the season after defeating Xavier on Feb 5. Forward David Jones made history on Wednesday with the first triple-double in program history.

Nick Ongenda opened the scoring with a dunk, but Providence responded right back before taking the lead. A layup by Jones ties the game at four points but Providence bounced back with a layup of their own. A breakaway layup by Jalen Terry tied the game again at six.

Courvoisier McCauley gave DePaul their first lead since the first basket before a jumper by Terry gave DePaul a four-point lead. Providence pulled within two again before a basket by Yor Anei made the score 12-8.

A 3-point shot by the Friars pulled them within one of the Blue Demons before Brandon Johnson gave DePaul a three-point lead. McCauley added to that lead with a 3-point shot to extend the Blue Demons’ lead to six halfway through the first half off an assist from Johnson.

Johnson continued to dominate with a basket of his own before Providence got their first basket in four minutes. Another 3-point jumper by McCauley extends the Blue Demons’ lead to nine.

A jumper by Yor Anei ensured that the Blue Demons had a four-point lead to end the first half as DePaul led 28-24.

Jalen Terry opened the scoring in the second half with a jumper before Providence responded with a layup. However, seconds later, a dunk by Nick Ongenda extended DePaul’s lead to six.

Everything was clicking and going in for the Blue Demons in the early parts of the second half. Jumpers by Ongenda and Johnson gave DePaul a 10-point lead before Philmon Gebrewhit gave the Blue Demons added to DePaul’s biggest lead of the game with a 3-point shot to make the score 39-26.

Providence began challenging the Blue Demons, with three straight baskets before a 3-point basket by Jones gave DePaul a nine-point lead. It was a battle of 3-point shots as Providence continued to pull within the Blue Demon’s lead before Jones scored a 3-point basket.

However, Providence made a 3-point basket of their own to cut the lead to seven. Jones countered that with another 3-point jumper, but the Friars responded immediately with a dunk.

Both teams were sinking 3-point shots on both ends of the court, with a third from Providence in five minutes cutting the lead to three points.

The Friars continued to push back against the Blue Demons, but a basket by Johnson gave DePaul a four-point lead and a layup by Ongenda added to that before a dunk by the Friars cut the lead again.

Providence tied the game at 58 points with a minute and a half left in the game, while the Blue Demons struggled to land their shots. The Friars then took the lead with two free throws but a jumper by Ongenda tied the game again, forcing the game to a five-minute overtime.

Providence scored the first points of the overtime period with two free throws after McCauley took a foul. Another layup by the Friars gave the team a four-point lead while Ongenda took a foul, forcing him out of the game with five fouls.

The Blue Demons struggled to make a shot in overtime, with their first basket coming as a free throw from Terry, while Providence continued to dominate and led 66-61 halfway through the overtime period.

Jones made a 3-point basket, but Providence responded with a layup. However, Jones made a layup right back to cut the lead to two points. He then scored a free throw to cut the lead to one, but Providence got a jumper right back.

McCauley then took a foul, which forced him out of the game and two free throws by Providence extended their lead. Two layups by Terry pulled the Blue Demons within a point of the Friars but two free throws by Providence extended their lead to three.

Terry made a free throw with six seconds left in overtime, but Providence made two with four seconds left and were able to close out the game with the win.

The Blue Demons are back in action on Tuesday when Butler comes into town, before taking on Creighton at home two days later for a game that was rescheduled from Dec. 20.