In a season which has been very frustrating for the DePaul Blue Demons, they suffered another punch in the gut in their loss against the Creighton Bluejays. DePaul battled against Creighton, and played pretty well up until the final seconds when Marcus Foster hit a clutch 3-pointer to give the Jays a 76-75 lead.
DePaul couldn’t get a final shot off, as Max Strus was stripped off the ball on their last possession, and that was all she wrote. The loss was the Blue Demons’ 14th of the year and kept them stuck in ninth place in the Big East standings. While any chance of contending for a top half finish is and has been long out of the question, finishing 7th in the Big East isn’t for DePaul. Even with the loss, they are only a half game behind Georgetown for the 7th spot. But they have to be careful of last place St. John’s, who are 1.5 games behind and could be getting some momentum after a huge win over Villanova.
Things are not going to get easier for DePaul, as they travel to Rhode Island on Saturday to face off against the Providence Friars. Unlike DePaul, Providence picked up a win this past week when they beat Georgetown, 73-69. It was the Friars’ second win in a row, and evened things up for them after a previous two-game losing streak. These past four games perfectly captures just how quickly this team can bounce back.
With the win, Providence is slotted in 4th place in the Big East standings. But they are still a half game behind Creighton for 3rd place. It’s a logjam from 3-6 in the Big East standings, and a win or loss could be the difference in a massive seeding change come conference tourney time. So, Ed Cooley’s team has to keep pace with Butler and Seton Hall right behind them.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
Radio: WSCR 670 AM (DePaul) | WEEI 103.7 FM (Providence)
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Odds: Providence entered this game as a 9-point favorite. The line is down to 6.5.
O/U: The total is at 141.5/142.
Record ATS: DePaul (11-11-1) || Providence (8-15)
Last Time They Met
This will be the 40th meeting between DePaul and Providence, with the Friars holding the all-time series lead, 29-10. They split their two game series last year with the home team earning the win in both games.
3 Things to Watch
Milestone night for Kyron Cartwright
This could be a big game for Providence point guard Kyron Cartwright. Not just in terms of the overall box score and impact on the game, but in terms of Friars basketball history. He’s closing in on 600 assists and 1,000 career points (per the Providence media guide). Cartwright has been solid for the Friars this season, averaging 11 points and a team-high 6.2 assists per game. He’s been the best distributor on the team, and it’s not even close. Along with him likely having a big assist day against DePaul, he could pass some milestones as well.
More minutes for Paul Reed
As the season winds down to a close, one thing that Dave Leiato could at least experiment with could be the minutes given his bench players. One guy he could look at is big man Paul Reed. The freshman didn’t get much playing time when the season started, but has seen a spike in action as the games went on. As an athletic 6-foot-9 big man, he could help DePaul out on the glass and with some rim protection when Leitao takes out Tre’Darius McCallum or Marin Maric of the lineup.
Guarding the three-ball
There is no team which guards the three-pointer like Providence does. They are the best in the Big East in terms of opponents 3-point percentage with teams shooting 31.5 percent against the Friars. To their luck, DePaul is the worst three-point shooting team in terms of percentage with the Blue Demons only knocking down 32.1 percent of their shots from deep. The Blue Demons will need the 3-ball to stay in this game and it looks like it won’t even be an option against the Friars.