DePaul Blue Demons (9-5, 0-1) vs. Providence (8-5, 0-1) – Saturday, January 5th, 7:00 p.m. Central – Providence, Rhode Island
Television – WCUU – The U Too Chicago, SNY, Cox Sports, Big East TV Network
Radio – WYLL AM 1160
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Having dropped their last two games and losing their first Big East game to Seton Hall on Wednesday night in heartbreaking fashion, DePaul now must travel to Providence to try and right the ship.
After losing to Seton Hall 73-72 on Wednesday night, DePaul is now 9-5 overall and 0-1 in the Big East. Providence also lost their first Big East game, losing handily to conference-favorites Louisville 80-62 on Wednesday night. Providence now sits 8-5 overall and 0-1 in Big East play.
Both teams will look at this game as a way to get things going in a positive direction. And just like DePaul, Providence has also dropped heart-breaking games prior to Big East play, as the Friars lost at Boston College and Brown by a combined four points before the Louisville loss. The Friars are now riding a three-game losing streak.
In their last game against Louisville, Providence actually came out of the gate rather hot and took a 13-3 lead. But Louisville's patented pressure-defense eventually wore down Providence, as the Friars committed 16 turnovers and the Cardinals would capitalize by scoring 27 points off of them.
The Friars are led by Bryce Cotton and his team-leading 21.5 points per game (second in the Big East). Providence also boasts a pair of imposing frontline players in LaDontae Henton (16.5 ppg) and Kadeem Batts (16.2). Cotton, Henton and Batts give the Friars three top-10 scorers in the Big East.
Henton, who also averages 8.2 rebounds per game (third in the Big East), was recently announced to the Big East honor roll after scoring a career-high 37 points against Brown.
As injuries and suspensions derail Providence's season, the Friars are also slowly working Vincent Council back into the mix along with highly-touted freshman Kris Dunn. Sidiki Johnson, a transfer from Arizona, also just recently became eligible. In the loss to Louisville, Council had 11 points and six assists in his second game back from injury.
Between injuries and a lack of cohesiveness, Providence has not been able to hit their stride yet. For a team battling the injury bug and team chemistry still in flux, DePaul would be best served in pressing Providence and making them hurry up their decisions. It worked for Louisville, so DePaul should follow suit.
For two teams staring down the possibility of a 0-2 Big East record, this game between DePaul and Providence will prove to be critical in all senses of the word.
The Last Time
On February 25th, 2011 at Allstate Arena with 1.7 seconds left in the game, LaDontae Henton's jump shot gave the Providence Friars what they needed to slip past DePaul by a score of 73-71.
The Blue Demons had a chance to come back when Cleveland Melvin was questionably blocked on his 17 foot jumper from the corner to end the game.
Henton led all scorers with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Bryce Cotton (19 points) and Vincent Council (14 points and 11 assists) also finished in double-figures for Providence (14-15, 3-13).
Three point shooting cost DePaul dearly. The Blue Demons shot five of 19 (26.3%) from beyond the arc.
DePaul was also hurt on the backboards in the second half. Providence outrebounded DePaul 48-41.
The Blue Demons were led by freshman Jamee Crockett and sophomore Brandon Young with 11 points apiece.
Cleveland Melvin picked up 10 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double.
Donnavan Kirk blocked a career-high eight shots, grabbed 11 rebounds and added four points in the losing effort for the Blue Demons.
NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School
22 Ted Bancroft JR 6-5 200 Guard Marion, Mass./Bishop Stang High School '10
10 Kadeem Batts JR 6-9 245 Forward Powder Springs, Ga./John McEachern '09
11 Bryce Cotton JR 6-1 165 Guard Tucson, Ariz./Palo Verde High School '10
32 Vincent Council SR 6-2 180 Guard Brooklyn, N.Y./Patterson School '09
33 Carson Desrosiers JR 7-0 250 Forward Windham, N.H./Central Catholic '10
3 Kris Dunn FR 6-3 180 Guard New London, Conn./New London High School '12
4 Josh Fortune FR 6-5 195 Guard Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan High School '12
21 Lee Goldsbrough JR 6-9 225 Forward Newcastle, England/Loreto Sixth Form College '10
25 Tyler Harris SO 6-9 215 Forward Dix Hills, N.Y./St. Benedict's Prep '11
23 LaDontae Henton SO 6-6 215 Forward Lansing, Mich./Eastern High School '11
5 Sidiki Johnson SO 6-10 240 Forward Harlem, N.Y./Wadleigh High School '11
13 Brice Kofane SO 6-8 205 Forward Yaounde, Cameroon/The Miller School '10
1 Ricky Ledo FR 6-7 195 Guard Providence, R.I./South Kent School '12
DePaul was in a position to win their Big East opener when Jamee Crockett's three point attempt left…