Watson’s Late Free Throw Lifts PC Over DePaul

Providence College Press Release

CHICAGO, Ill. – The Providence College men’s basketball defeated the DePaul Blue Demons, 66-65, in a nail biter on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill. The Friars improve their record to 9-6 on the season and 2-0 in BIG EAST play. The last time the Friars started conference place with two wins was in the 15-16 season.
Maliek White (Richmond, Va.) and Luwane Pipkins (Chicago, Ill.) led the way for the Friars with 16 points each. White went 3-4 from three point land while Pipkins added five rebounds and four assists on the afternoon. Emmitt Holt (Rochester, N.Y.) was the final Friar in double-digit scoring. He had 12 points and six rebounds.
David Duke (Providence, R.I.) scored the opening five points for the Friars. He started the afternoon with a reverse layup along the baseline followed by a three. Duke ended with seven points, five boards and five assists. The Blue Demons opened up shooting 4-9 from the field. DePaul had the early lead 9-5 going into the first media timeout.
With just under 12 minutes in the first, Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) knocked down his first basket from beyond the arc to tie the game, 12-12. Greg Gantt (Fayetteville, N.C.) contributed not long after with consecutive field goals for the Friars. He pulled up for a made inside jumper from the right followed by a dunk on the fast break.
Providence found some momentum going on a 5-0 run. White hit their third three of the half followed by a Kalif Young (Vaughan, Ontario) jumper. The Blue Demons hadn’t scored a field goal in the last 3:45 minutes. With 6:32 on the clock the Friars held the lead 27-18, which was their largest of the first half.
DePaul started a hot streak of their own going on a 8-0 run in the last 2:30 minutes. The Friars made one field goal in their last seven chances. The score was all tied up at 27 with 3:33 left in the opening 20 minutes.
The teams headed into halftime with a 33-31 DePaul lead. Providence shot 10-33 (30.3%) from the field, 4-12 (33.3%) from three and 7-8 (87.5%) from the free throw line. DePaul shot 12-34 (35.3%) from the field, 2-8 (25.0%) from three, and 7-10 (70%) from the free throw line.
Holt started the half with an and one layup in the paint to put the Friars up one. Shortly after Luwane Pipkins (Chicago, Ill.) heated up and nailed three consecutive three-point baskets. Providence led 43-41 going in to the first official timeout.
Both teams traded baskets and found themselves all tied up at 50 with 10:50 on the clock. This was the ninth tied score of the game. Coming out of the timeout, Pipkins found Holt where he finished on a reverse layup. White found the bottom of the net on a step back three to put the Friars up five with just under eight minutes to play.
The Blue Demons went on a 6-0 run led by Paul Reed to force a Friars timeout. Providence was 60-56 with 3:57 left in regulation. DePaul made two consecutive three point baskets to bring the Blue Demons within three. DePaul’s Coleman-Lands was fouled and sent to the line to shoot three foul shots with 16 seconds on the clock. He made all three to tie the game at 65 all. The Friars had the ball for the final shot. Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) was fouled in the paint with 0.1 seconds on the clock and went to the line for two. He missed the first and made the second to give the Friars the win. He finished with six points and six rebounds.  
Providence finished 23-61 (37.7%) from the field, 10-25 (40.0%) from three and 10-14 (71.4%) from the free throw line. DePaul shot 24-60 (40%) from the field, 5-21 (23.8%) from three, and 12-18 (66.7%) from the free throw line. Paul Reed led the Blue Demons with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Up next, the Friars stay on the road to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles on Tuesday, January 7 in Milwaukee, Wis. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. on FS1.