19/04/2018

PC 71, DePaul 64: Friars use 22-0 run to beat Blue Demons

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PC 71, DePaul 64: Friars use 22-0 run to beat Blue Demons

CHICAGO — If Ed Cooley could have foreseen the way Providence took command against DePaul on Friday, he might not need to coach basketball anymore. “I’d be lying if I could see that scenario,” he said after his visiting Friars used a 22-0 second-half run on the way to a 71-64 Big East victory at Wintrust Arena. “If that’s the case, I win the lottery tomorrow.” The Friars erased a 12-point second-half deficit and went on to a seemingly commanding 66-53

CHICAGO — If Ed Cooley could have foreseen the way Providence took command against DePaul on Friday, he might not need to coach basketball anymore. “I’d be lying if I could see that scenario,” he said after his visiting Friars used a 22-0 second-half run on the way to a 71-64 Big East victory at Wintrust Arena. “If that’s the case, I win the lottery tomorrow.” The Friars erased a 12-point second-half deficit and went on to a seemingly commanding 66-53

CHICAGO — If Ed Cooley could have foreseen the way Providence took command against DePaul on Friday, he might not need to coach basketball anymore.

“I’d be lying if I could see that scenario,” he said after his visiting Friars used a 22-0 second-half run on the way to a 71-64 Big East victory at Wintrust Arena. “If that’s the case, I win the lottery tomorrow.”

The Friars erased a 12-point second-half deficit and went on to a seemingly commanding 66-53 lead with 4:16 to play.

“We’re all capable of it,” Cooley said. “A lot of things have to go well. They have to miss some shots and there’s probably some 50-50 calls that can go either way. And the tempo has to change. … We talked to our players in the locker room about games of runs and poise. You can’t lose your composure.”

Guard Alpha Diallo ignited the surge with six quick points and finished with 16, including 14 in the second half. Guard Jalen Lindsey ended with a game-high 18 while Isiah Jackson added 15.

The Friars (12-6, 3-2 Big East) claimed their second straight victory and first at DePaul’s new downtown arena.

Marin Maric had 15 for DePaul (8-9, 1-4 Big East), which has now dropped four of its last five.

Even with a late double-digit lead Providence couldn’t lock down the win until the very end.

The Blue Demons rallied from a late 13-point deficit using three 3-pointers over a 1:44 span to cut the Friar lead to 67-64. But a Rodney Bullock sprint and dunk put the game out of reach at 69-64 with 16 seconds to play.

“I knew they (the Friars) weren’t going to panic,” said DePaul coach Dave Leitao. “We had to learn some tough lessons tonight. We got up 12 and I think we enjoyed it too much.”

Providence trailed just once in the early going and used three 3-pointers — including two by Lindsey — in the opening five minutes while turning two DePaul turnovers into six points en route to a 13-10 lead.

The Friars had some early trouble containing Maric, who had eight points in six minutes and a team-high 15 for the game. But Providence still kept DePaul at arm’s length and capped a 7-0 run for a a double-digit, 29-18 lead on guard Kyron Cartwright’s 3-pointer at 8:42 mark.

DePaul used a 10-2 run to trim the Providence lead to 31-28 with 5:19 showing and 33-32 on reserve Peter Ryckbosch’s two layups. Guard Eli Cain forced a 33-33 tie with a free throw with 2:05 and Tre’Darius McCallum’s jumper gave the hosts a 35-33 lead in the final minute on the way to a 35-34 halftime lead.

The Friars, meanwhile, went more than eight minutes without a field goal to close the half and were 0-for-12 by early in the second while DePaul opened a game-high 46-34 lead.

Then came the big run.

Diallo jump-started Providence with a layup with 16:40 showing, added another nearly a minute later and scored on a rebound to trim the DePaul lead to 46-40.

Providence went back on top for good at 47-46 on a Lindsey’s 3-point baseline jumper. He added another at the 11:38 mark for a 51-46 lead.

After seven scoreless minutes, DePaul’s Cain hit a free throw with 9:35 to play to trim the Providence lead to 56-47.

“I was proud of our guys on how resilient we were in the second half,” Cooley said. “We got down two, three minutes and we weren’t really good. It forced us to play a different style.”

The Friars resume play with two home games next week. They host Butler on Monday and league-leading Creighton next Saturday.

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