Senior guard Billy Garrett, Jr. drove the lane with 4.7 seconds left to tie the game and drew a foul in the process. Garrett then sunk his free throw to give DePaul (8-9, 1-3) their first Big East win of the season.
Providence (11-7, 1-4) had one final chance to win the game, but Kyron Cartwright’s layup attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
It was the first time the Blue Demons had led since the 13:32 mark of the first half. DePaul had trailed by as many as 12 points with 14:53 left to go in the game.
Yet DePaul was like a pesky fly that just won’t go away. They kept grinding and scrapping to put themselves in position to win the game.
“We’ve got to stop doing that,” Garrett said of the many comeback wins this season. “We’ve got to stop getting down early. One thing I love is the fight that we have.”
Garrett’s final drive was reminiscent of the final second of DePaul’s win at Marquette last season.
“It’s weird, And-1 game winners don’t happen that much and I’ve got two of them,” said Garrett.
“We were telling (Garrett) ‘drive the ball’,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said of DePaul’s final possession. “It was (Garrett’s) voracity that got it and as (Rodney) Bullock tried to take a charge that got Billy the And-1”
DePaul held Providence without a field goal during the game’s final five minutes.
“Late in the game we hunkered down, we got thirsty and hungry and we just stopped them,” Garrett said.
DePaul won despite getting just two points apiece from Garrett and sophomore guard Eli Cain in the first half.
Garrett finished with 14 points on three of nine shooting to lead the Demons. Cain and freshman guard Brandon Cyrus contributed with 10 points apiece.
Providence’s Rodney Bullock led all scorers with 18 points
The Blue Demons will next travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to face the Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
Postgame Notes from DePaul Sports Information
- DePaul has erased a double-figure deficit in the second half five times this season... the Blue Demons trailed by 12 with 8:26 left and by 11 with 4:49 left tonight against Providence.
- Eli Cain passed the 600-point plateau in his 48th career game tonight.
- Brandon Cyrus recorded his fourth game this season in double-figures and first in BIG EAST play.
- Billy Garrett Jr. moved from 17th to 15th on DePaul’s all-time scoring list... he passed Quemont Greer (1,397 points, 2001-05) and Terry Cummings (1,398 points, 1979-82)... Garrett has 1,410 career points.
- Garrett moved into a tie for 13th with Quentin Richardson (1998-00) on the three-point field goal list... Garrett has 117 career three-pointers.
- Providence leads the series, 27-10... DePaul has won two of the last three meetings.null