PC Beats DePaul On Senior Night, Reaches Program Record With 12 BIG EAST Wins
Providence College Press Release
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence College men’s basketball team defeated the DePaul Blue Demons, 93-55, on Saturday, March 7 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I on Senior Night. It was the Friars’ sixth consecutive victory, which marks the fourth time in school history the team has won a program best six straight BIG EAST regular season games. This game marks the conclusion of the regular season for Providence. With this win, the Friars are 19-12 overall on the season and finish 12-6 in the conference play, which is the best league finish in school history. They finished in fourth place in the BIG EAST. A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) led the way with a game-high 19 points.
This is only the second time in history that the Friars have won seven BIG EAST games at home. The last time the Friars did this was the 1996-97 season, in which they also went 7-2 at home. The 1993-94 Friar team, posted a school-best 8-1 home record in BIG EAST play.
“This is a credit to everyone,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “It’s not just the players, it’s a whole family, it’s a whole unit together. Our donors, our fans, the media, you guys help us out.”
Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) opened up the game with a layup in the paint. He ended with 18 points and eight rebounds. On the ensuing possession, the Friars defense forced a turnover and Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) finished in transition. Diallo finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Next, Luwane Pipkins (Chicago, Ill.) hit a three-pointer in the corner.
With just under six minutes gone in the first half, Kalif Young (Vaughan, Ontario) kept the possession alive and Reeves capitalized. The score was 18-11 at the first media timeout. Maliek White (Richmond, Va.) knocked down his first three of his Senior Night with just over 12 minutes remaining.
The Friars led 29-15 at the 7:46 mark, breaking a field goal drought that had lasted over four minutes. Shortly after, Reeves made a three and forced a DePaul timeout. Providence took a 16-point lead, its largest of the game to that point.
Reeves continued to have a presence beyond the arc, as he drew a foul in the corner and made two out of the three free throws. He made another on the next offensive possession, extending the lead to 20 points. By the third media timeout, the Friars held a commanding 40-19 lead.
Right out of the timeout, the Friars stayed hot as Pipkins and Reeves each drained another three-pointer. Providence went on a 17-4 run over the next five minutes extending their lead to 27. Diallo knocked down his first three of the game in the final minute of the half.
Providence led the way at halftime, 55-25. Providence shot 17-33 (51.5%) from the field, 8-15 (53.3%) from three, and 13-17 (76.5%) from the free throw line. DePaul shot 10-33 (30.3%) from the field, 2-8 (25.0%) from three, and 3-7 (42.9%) from the free throw line. The Friars’ 55 points were the most in a half against a BIG EAST opponent this season.
Watson opened up the half with an and-one in the paint. Charlie Moore banked in a layup for the first DePaul points in the second half. David Duke (Providence, R.I.) also converted on a strong and-one. The Friars remained in control, 61-30.
The Friars changed their approach in the second half, converting more in the paint than from behind the three-point line. With 13:36 remaining, Reeves controlled two offensive rebounds and eventually finished down low. DePaul had turnovers on three straight possessions, leading to baskets by Duke, Diallo, and Emmitt Holt (Rochester, N.Y.).
Duke made the first Friar three-pointer of the second half at the 9:45 mark. With under eight minutes to go, the Friars had made six of their last eight shots. They led 82-44 at the 7:37 media timeout.
With under six minutes left, Holt capped off his senior night with a three. Duke capped off a steal with a dunk in transition. The seniors checked out of the game with just over two minutes remaining, receiving a standing ovation from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center crowd.
“When Emmitt hit that three in the second half, there was a lot of joy,” Cooley said.
Providence finished 31-64 (48.4%) from the field, 10-23 (43.5%) from three, and 21-26 (80.8%) from the free throw line. DePaul finished 22-63 (34.9%) from the field, 4-17 (23.5%) from three, and 7-13 (53.8%) from the free throw line. Charlie Moore was the leading scorer for the Blue Demons with 14 points.
The Friars finished with five players in double-figures, in Diallo, Duke, Reeves, Pipkins, and Watson. For the second consecutive game, Providence never surrendered the lead.
“Anytime you go into the postseason, you want to go in on a high note,” Cooley said. “You want to go in there with confidence, with which our players have.”
Up next, the Friars will travel to Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. for the BIG EAST Tournament. The Friars will play in the four-five matchup on Thursday, March 12 against the Butler Bulldogs. Tip-off is at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.