Late-comeback bid falls short against Providence, DePaul loses 75-64


Patrick Sloan-Turner

Head coach Tony Stubblefield expresses frustration during DePaul’s win over Georgetown on 12/29.

DePaul dropped its fourth Big East conference game of the season after falling on the road to Providence Saturday by a score of 75-64. 

Coming off an emotional victory over No. 8 Xavier, the Blue Demons weren’t able to overcome a sluggish start to the game and struggled with defending the Friars’ perimeter shooting, led by graduate guard Noah Locke’s 29-point afternoon.

Providence found much more consistency from three-point range than DePaul from the start, and the box score proved it. The Friars shot 10-23 (44%) from three, compared to the Blue Demons’ lowly 33%, connecting on seven of 21 shots.

A 14-2 Providence run started things strong for the Friars, with sophomore guard Devin Carter scoring six of his team’s 14 points. DePaul scored only one basket in the first six minutes of play at Amica Mutual Pavilion.

Still, DePaul bounced back with a run of its own, as the Demons outscored Providence 12-2 in the next few minutes. Head coach Tony Stubblefield’s zone defense held the Flyers scoreless for nearly three and a half minutes during that stretch.

Graduate guard Umoja Gibson single-handedly seemed to keep the Blue Demons in the matchup during the first half, scoring 11 points and grabbing two steals, while connecting on 3-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. 

Providence went into halftime with a 37-30 lead, with a major factor being the Friars’ perimeter shooting. The red hot Friars shot 50% from deep in the first half, with Locke connected on three before the break.

The Friars adjusted in the second half and held Gibson to only five points, which paid dividends as graduate forward Javan Johnson had an off-day offensively.

Providence head coach Ed Cooley’s defense held Johnson to only seven points on a measly 3-of-9 shooting from the field. Johnson’s seven point game was his second lowest scoring total in a game this season.

The second half was a back-and-forth matchup between both Big East rivals, with DePaul at one point pulling within four, as the Friars held a narrow lead of 46-42. Providence eventually pulled away late, after connecting with multiple three-point shots in crunch time.

DePaul played Providence tough from start to finish, but couldn’t find a way to overcome the Friars’ big men down low. The Blue Demons were out-rebounded 38-27. DePaul’s leading rebounder was graduate forward Yor Anei who had a season-high of seven.

Junior guard Caleb Murphy scored nine points, all in the first half, in his second game after returning from injury. He also recorded a steal, assist and rebound.

Four Blue Demons were sidelined, including Nick Ongenda (hand injury), Mo Sall (wrist injury), K.T. Raimey (coach’s decision) and Ahamad Bynum (suspended). Ongenda is expected to be evaluated again by team doctors early next week.

DePaul (9-11, 3-6) will travel to Georgetown (5-15, 0-9) on Tuesday night with tip off scheduled at Capital One Arena for 7:00 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.