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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,400) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: FSN. Home Record: DePaul 7-7, Providence 11-2. Away Record: DePaul 3-6, Providence 3-5. Neutral Record: DePaul 0-2, Providence 2-2. Conference Record: DePaul 2-10, Providence 6-6. Series Record: Providence leads, 23-8.
GAME NOTES: The DePaul Blue Demons will try for their first victory in a month when they visit the Dunkin' Donuts Center this afternoon to take on the Providence Friars in Big East Conference play.
DePaul has tumbled down the conference standings thanks to a current seven- game losing streak. The Blue Demons faced sixth-ranked Villanova at home on Wednesday and came away with a lopsided, 87-62 setback.
Providence has also fallen on hard times of late, having dropped four of its last five outings after a five-game winning streak. The Friars suffered an 83-71 loss at Georgetown on Monday.
Providence owns a commanding 23-8 lead in the all-time series and claimed a 77-72 road victory when these teams met up on Feb. 1. Friars senior guard Bryce Cotton led all scorers with 28 points in that game a couple of weeks ago.
DePaul's Brandon Young (15.0 ppg) poured in a season-high 27 points on Wednesday night, but the Blue Demons shot just 37 percent from the floor as a team and were unable to keep pace with the hot-shooting Wildcats. Villanova buried 15-of-26 3-pointers (.577) for the game as it jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and never looked back. Conversely, DePaul shot just 4-of-14 from beyond the arc (.286). Sandi Marcius was the only other player in double figures for the Blue Demons, as he finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes. Of course, they were playing without leading scorer and rebounder Cleveland Melvin (16.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg). The school announced on Monday that Melvin, who was suspended last month for violating team rules, was no longer enrolled at DePaul or part of the basketball program.
Leading the way for Providence is Bryce Cotton, the conference's second- leading scorer (21.2 ppg) and a dangerous threat from the perimeter (56- of-152). Cotton, who is on the Midseason Naismith Trophy list, tops the Big East in assists (5.8 apg) and leads the nation in minutes played (39.5 mpg). He has scored 31 or more points in two of the last three games, including a game-high 31 at Georgetown earlier this week. However, the Friars shot just 33.3 percent from the floor in the second half of that contest while GU shot 53.6 percent and made 17-of-19 free throws. Kadeem Batts (12.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Tyler Harris 12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) rounded out the team's double-digit scorers with 13 points in the loss. No. 2 scorer LaDontae Henton (13.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) finished with just four points and four rebounds.
PC won the first meeting with DePaul on the road, and it should be able to pull off the sweep here against the short-handed Blue Demons.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Providence 76, DePaul 57
02/15 10:16:22 ET
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