Providence Spoils Webster's DePaul Debut

The Providence Friars (11-6, 3-2) played the role of spoilers as they ruined Tracy Webster's debut as interim head coach at DePaul (7-9, 0-4). The Friars put on a second half spurt as they rolled past the Blue Demons 79-62 at Allstate Arena on Thursday night.

Webster had to do it without his leading rebounder in the lineup as junior forward Mac Koshwal has been lost for two to four weeks with a right foot injury.

"I don't want to come in using any excuses, but any time one of your go-to guys gets hurt at the last minute, it changes things," said Webster.

Koshwal just can't seem to catch a break as he missed four weeks already this season with an injury to his other foot.

"It happened in practice a couple days ago," Webster said.

The Blue Demons came out with intensity and energy in the first half and trailed by just five at the intermission, but Providence coach Keno Davis mixed up defenses and focused on shutting down DePaul senior guard Will Walker in the second half.

"I was proud of our team tonight to come in and face a DePaul team that came out with an incredible amount of energy and took it to us the first 15 minutes of the game," said Davis.

"(In the second half) we made some changes defensively that I thought bothered DePaul," said Davis. "We went to more of a true man-to-man defense. I think we did a good job of identifying Walker."

"The first half I thought our guys came out fighting really hard," Webster said. "They did a good job of defending these guys close to our bench. Then all of a sudden in the second half, they did a good job of driving us and got some easy transition points. We definitely have to do a better job of getting back in transition and defending our man one-on-one. Overall our guys aren't going to stop fighting. We're going to get better. We just have to finish plays and do a better job of taking care of the basketball and just being smarter on offense as well as defense."

DePaul's goal under Webster is to get their defense back to where it was earlier in the season.

"We want to be aggressive defensively," said Webster. "We tried and these guys scored 79 points, which is unacceptable. He have to do a better job in transition, offensive rebounding and blocking out."

One bright spot for the Demons in the loss was the play of junior college transfer Mike Stovall. Stovall led all scorers with 30 points on 10 of 21 from the field. He attacked the basket much more than usual in this game.

"I need to be aggressive like the coaching staff said," said Stovall. "Just look to score, get fouls and go to the free throw line. That's what I was looking to do."

Sophomore big man Krys Faber got the start for DePaul in Koshwal's absence. Faber finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

"He has to continue to get better and finish around the basket," said Webster. "We're going to need Big Krys. We're going to need our big guys to step up until Mac gets back."

Providence finished with four players in double-figures. The Friars were led by 17 points off the bench from Marshon Brooks. Jamine "Greedy" Peterson finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Senior point guard Sharaud Curry contributed with 12 points, while center Bilal Dixon chipped in with 10.

Webster admitted to having some nervousness before his first game as interim coach of the Blue Demons.

"You always have butterflies before the game starts, but once the game starts, you feel good," said Tracy.

Webster now takes his act on the road as DePaul travels to face St. John's at Carnesecca Arena on Sunday.

Box Score

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