The Providence Friars have won two in a row.
PC defeated the DePaul Blue Demons 57-47 on Saturday night, maintaining their winning ways after defeating UConn earlier in the week. The string of victories was much needed, and will perhaps spark a late run towards the start of the Big East Tournament in March. The Friars are familiar with these types of runs, and we could be witnessing yet another one here and now.
Providence was led by the play of both A.J. Reeves and David Duke. The duo combined for 30 of the Friars’ 57 points scored in the victory on Saturday. Duke led with 17 points and also pulled in 13 rebounds for an impressive double-double. Duke also had four assists, one block and a steal, and while he did have six turnovers, his good outweighed the bad.
Nate Watson was slowed down a bit after a very hot stretch. The senior big man scored just four points and went 2-for-8 from the field. He did chip in six boards and four blocks though, along with two assists, as he found ways to contribute while his shooting took a hit. Alyn Breed gave the Friars nine points and the aforementioned Reeves had 13. Noah Horchler had 11 rebounds with six points, and also picked up four blocks and a steal.
DePaul was flustered heavily by Providence’s defense and a stark amount of inefficiency. The Blue Demons shot 16 for 53 from the floor on 2-point tries and 3 for 9 on 3-point attempts. Their 60 percent mark from the FT line was nothing pretty to look at either, as DePaul simply couldn’t get it going on offense. David Jones gave them 10 points off the bench in 17 minutes, and he was the team’s leading scorer on the night. No starter had more than seven points, and Darious Hall finished with a goose egg in 14 minutes of action. Javon Freeman-Liberty had seven points, leading all starters.
Providence will seek a clean sweep of UConn when the Friars and Huskies meet on Tuesday night. DePaul, meanwhile, will travel to New Jersey to take on Seton Hall on Wednesday.