The Providence College men’s basketball team (14-15, 3-13 BIG EAST) defeated the DePaul Blue Demons (11-17, 2-14 BIG EAST) by the score of 73-71, in Chicago, Ill. on Saturday, February 25. The game marks the first BIG EAST road victory for the Friars since the last time they played at DePaul and defeated the Blue Demons, 79-62, on January 14, 2010.
Freshman forward LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) and junior guard Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each earned their eighth double-double in the game as Henton scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Council added 14 points and dished out 11 assists. Sophomore Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) registered 19 points in the victory.
GoLocalProv: Friars find their way, dispatch Blue Demons
With some travel difficulties getting to Chicago due to snow on Thursday and Friday, the Friars’ trip to the Midwest was delayed by more than two hours Friday afternoon. After landing – and missing their appointed practice time halfway across town on the DePaul campus, with rush hour traffic in full swing – Ed Cooley took a different tact. He called off practice, and took the team bowling. “We just felt like it was something we needed to do, since practicing really wasn’t going to help us all that much with the travel trouble,” the coach said. “I thought, we needed to lighten things up. And we have some really bad bowlers! But we had fun. And I thought it helped us come together.” For the record, sophomore Ted Bancroft was the top bowler, while freshman Brice Kofane (from Yaounde, Cameroon) had never picked up a bowling ball in his life.
Chicago Sun-Times: More heartbreak for Demons
‘‘It’s a tough one to take,’’ DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. ‘‘Our guys did a really good job of battling back [to a 71-71 tie with 33.5 seconds left on Jamee Crockett’s two free throws]. We have one defensive stop to make to go into overtime, and it didn’t happen.’’
The outcome means the Blue Demons likely will remain the No. 16 seed for the Big East tournament, which begins March 6 in New York.
Friar Basketball: Playing like a Veteran, Henton Leads PC Past DePaul
The numbers and game winner will most likely be remembered in years to come, but what shouldn’t be forgotten is the sheer will of a freshman who made all of the key plays to help end a long road losing streak and reverse the trend of February’s past.
While he’s not playing like it, Henton is still only a freshman, yet he’s providing the on-court leadership and tenacity that Providence fans hope are part of brighter days ahead under Cooley – virtues that had been lacking during past February skids.
Times Union: Providence edges DePaul 73-71
“I set a ball screen, pick and pop, and they trapped our point guard. It’s a shot I take every day in practice. I was wide open. If I didn’t make I would’ve been mad at myself. There wasn’t too much pressure because I was wide open. I just took my time and made it,” Henton said.
“We got away from our defensive mindset. We knew that (Ladonte) Henton, he’s left-handed and we knew we had to force him to the right but we have to stay focused and make sure we know the player’s strength,” said Kirk. “You’ve got to stay mentally strong and stick to your defensive game plan.”
“Trying to win the game you know trying to get a win out though so we can get motivated and win more games, but you know we can’t wait to do that until the last minute to do that we have to do that when the ball tips up,” Young said.
“It hurts but we’ll be back tomorrow,” said Purnell. “We’ll try and try again until we get it right.”
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