DePaul vs. Providence Game Preview previews Tuesday's Big East battle in Rhode Island between the DePaul Blue Demons and the Providence Friars…

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Providence Friars - Tuesday, February 5th, 6:30 p.m. (Central) – Dunkin' Donuts Center - Providence, Rhode Island

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Game Preview

We're at the halfway mark in Big East conference play. With the Blue Demons at 4-5 and the Friars at 3-6 (12-9 overall) in league standings, this game becomes important to both teams to avoid being shut out of the conference tournament in March.

This game is the rematch in a league mirror series between the two Catholic schools. The Blue Demons won the first game 70-65 at Allstate Arena on January 5th behind 15 points from Darquavis Tucker.

Someone's losing streak will end on Tuesday night. The Demons have lost three straight, while the Friars have lost four straight and are coming off a 77-65 home loss to West Virginia. Junior center Randall Hanke (7.3 ppg) led Providence with 18 points on seven of nine shooting.

DePaul will need to focus on Hanke as they've had problems the last few games with their interior defense.

The Friars biggest problem this season has been playing without a true point guard. Junior Sharaud Curry has sat out with a broken foot. Sophomore Dwain Williams (11.4 ppg) did not play in the first game against the Demons. Williams has since returned to the Providence lineup and scored nine points in the West Virginia game.

Injuries continue to be a problem for coach Tim Welsh's team. Guard Geoff McDermott (10.5 ppg) was limited in the West Virginia game by a knee problem and shot one of six from the field.

6-5 junior guard Weyinmi Efejuku (11.6 ppg) hurt the Demons in the first matchup with 20 points and will need to be limited for the Demons to have a chance of getting the win on the road.

The Friars feature some balanced scoring. Guard Jeff Xavier (a transfer from Manhattan) is the Friars' leading scorer at 12.5 ppg. 6-4 sophomore guard brian McKenzie is averaging 11.6 ppg.

The Last Time

DePaul's Will Walker hit a clutch three point shot and stole an inbound pass to preserve a 70-65 Blue Demons victory on January 25, 2008 at Allstate Arena. Walker finished with 13 points while Dar Tucker led the Demons with 15. Weyinmi Efejuku led all scorers with 20 points. Jeff Xavier chipped in with 15 for the Friars.

Providence Roster

NO NAME Yr Ht Wt Position Hometown/High School

0 Alex Kellogg FR 6-7 225 Forward Columbus, Ohio/DeSales High School

1 Jeff Xavier JR 6-1 185 Guard Pawtucket, R.I./St. Raphael Academy

2 Marshon Brooks FR 6-5 190 Guard/Forward Stone Mountain, Ga./Tucker High School

4 Sharaud Curry JR 5-10 170 Guard Gainesville, Ga./Wheeler High School

5 Dwain Williams SO 6-0 170 Guard San Diego, Calif./Vista Murrieta High School

11 Geoff McDermott JR 6-8 235 Forward/Guard New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle High School

12 Luke Burchett SO 6-0 185 Guard Western Springs, Ill./Fenwick High School

13 Weyinmi Efejuku JR 6-5 210 Guard Fresh Meadows, N.Y./Brewster Academy

15 Jamine Peterson FR 6-6 225 Forward Brooklyn, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep.

21 Chris Baudinet JR 6-5 210 Forward Watertown, Conn./Taft School

23 Brian McKenzie SO 6-4 205 Guard Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian High School

32 Randall Hanke JR 6-11 240 Forward/Center New York, N.Y./Trinity-Pawling School

33 Charles Burch SR 6-7 225 Forward Dorchester, Mass./Tabor Academy

34 Jonathan Kale JR 6-8 245 Forward Mattapan, Mass./St. Andrew's School

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