DePaul Blue Demons (10-15, 2-10) vs. Providence Friars (16-9, 6-6) – Saturday, February 12th, 1 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois
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When the Blue Demons faced the Friars just two weeks ago, they were without four players - Billy Garrett, Cleveland Melvin, Charles McKinney, and Jamie Crockett.
Despite those key absences, DePaul kept it close and lost 77-72 to Providence at Allstate Arena.
The good news for DePaul is three of those four are now back in the lineup.
If you're looking for a bright spot, the Blue Demons have won the last two games in the series that were played in Providence. The last came on January 5, 2013 when the Demons defeated the Friars 83-73. The visiting team has won the last five games in this series.
The tough nut for DePaul to crack is Providence guard Bryce Cotton. Cotton is the second leading scorer in the Big East behind Creighton's Doug McDermott and averages 21.2 points per game. In the last outing at DePaul, Cotton led all scorers with 28 points. Cotton was named to the Naismith Player of the Year Top 30 list this week. He leads the Big East in assists with 5.8 per game.
The Friars have lost three straight and are coming off a 83-71 loss at Georgetown on Monday night. Cotton dropped 31 points while shooting five of six from beyond the arc in the losing effort.
It would help DePaul if they could get Cotton to grab some bench time. Cotton is an iron man. He played every minute of the last game in Rosemont and leads the nation in minutes played with a 39.5 average.
Three others for Providence are averaging in double figures – LaDontae Henton (13.4 ppg), Kadeem Batts (12.1 ppg) and Tyler Harris (12 ppg).
Note that if this game becomes a free throw shooting contest in the end that will favor the Friars. Providence leads the nation in Free Throw percentage at 78.6%.
The Last Time
On February 1st, despite missing three starters, the Blue Demons had others step up and rally in a 77-72 loss at Allstate Arena.
Playing without starters Cleveland Melvin (suspension), Billy Garrett Jr. (illness), and Charles McKinney (injury), everyone else stepped up their game.
DePaul freshman R.J. Curington was one of those that stepped in, finishing the day with a career-high 22 points to lead the Demons, while shooting seven of 15 from the floor.
The Demons trailed by as many as 16 points with 6:59 left in the first half, but fought back to arrive at a Friars 42-37 lead at halftime.
With the help of Curington, DePaul's bench outscored Providence's bench by a 35-2 margin.
Fellow freshman Tommy Hamilton added 13 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Young contributed with 12 points and dished out nine assists in the losing effort.
Bryce Cotton played the entire game and led all scorers with 28 points for Providence. LaDontae Henton added 19 points, while Tyler Harris chipped in with 18 points for the Friars.
NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School
22 Ted Bancroft SR 6-6 215 Guard Marion, Mass./Bishop Stang High School '10
10 Kadeem Batts SR 6-9 245 Forward Boston, Mass./John McEachern High School '09
5 Rodney Bullock FR 6-7 215 Forward Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan High School '13
11 Bryce Cotton SR 6-1 165 Guard Tucson, Ariz./Palo Verde High School '10
33 Carson Desrosiers JR 7-0 250 Forward Windham, N.H./Central Catholic '10
3 Kris Dunn SO 6-3 197 Guard New London, Conn./New London High School '12
4 Josh Fortune SO 6-5 205 Guard Hampton, Va./Kecoughtan High School '12
21 Lee Goldsbrough SR 6-9 230 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 JR 6-6 215 Forward Lansing, Mich./Eastern High School '11
13 Brice Kofane JR 6-8 210 Forward Yaounde, Cameroon/The Miller School '10
32 Junior Lomomba SO 6-5 195 Guard Montreal, Quebec/Madison Memorial '12
12 Casey Woodring FR 6-2 180 Guard Darien, Conn./Cushing Academy '13
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