PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence College men’s basketball team defeated the DePaul Blue Demons, 95-90, in double overtime on Sunday, Dec. 27 at Alumni Hall in Providence, R.I. The Friars advanced to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in BIG EAST play. Juniors David Duke (Providence, R.I.) and A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) scored 24 and 22 points, respectively in the game. It marked the Friars’ first win in double overtime since January 16, 2014 when Providence earned a win in 50 minutes of action at St. John’s.
“This game showed maturity on our behalf,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “Being able to bounce back from a loss on the road and being down three points with 15 seconds on the clock, give credit to our players for being able to execute our game plan coming down the stretch.”
A second-chance layup by Noah Horchler (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) opened the game for the Friars at the 19:39 mark. Ahead of the first media timeout, freshman Alyn Breed (Powder Springs, Ga.) stole the ball and scored in transition. The Friars led 8-4 at the 15:17 timeout.
The game was tied, 12-12, at the 11:34 media timeout. With 8:51 remaining in the half, a layup from Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) completed a quick 6-0 Friars run. The Friars had control, 20-15.
Duke gave the Friars their largest lead to that point, 24-17, with his first three-pointer of the game. With 5:53 left, Duke’s basket capped off a 10-2 run for Providence over the course of 4:13 minutes.
The Friars led at halftime, 34-29. Providence shot 13-35 (37.1%) from the field, 1-9 (11.1%) from three, and 7-8 (87.5%) from the free throw line. The Blue Demons shot 12-30 (40.0%) from the field, 2-8 (25.0%) from three, and 3-4 (75.0%) from the free throw line.
At the 19:30 mark, Reeves converted at the free throw line for the first Friars points of the second half. Shortly after, Reeves knocked down his first three-pointer of the game to extend the lead to 39-31.
Duke finished an alley-oop dunk on the assist from Bynum with 15:58 left. The Friars led 47-39 entering the first media timeout of the second half. Both teams began the half on a hot streak, each making four of their first five attempts from the field.
Coming out of the second media timeout, the Friars were in the midst of a scoring drought that lasted nearly five minutes. DePaul’s Charlie Moore gave the Blue Demons the lead, 53-52, with 9:54 remaining. An 8-0 DePaul run forced a Providence timeout. Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) broke the Friars’ drought with a dunk with 8:12 left.
The Friars completed another alley-oop in transition, as Greg Gantt (Fayetteville, N.C.) made the dunk from a Duke assist. It was a back-and-forth game in the sequence leading up to the 6:39 media timeout. The Blue Demons held the lead, 60-58.
After a steal by Gantt, Providence regained the lead at the 4:46 mark with a Jimmy Nichols, Jr. (Conway, S.C.) layup. Reeves stole the ball on the ensuing defensive possession, and Watson added one free throw from the line. The game was tied at 64 at the final media timeout.
The teams traded several baskets entering the last two minutes of regulation. Reeves tied the game, 69-69, with 1:57 remaining. Duke drove and scored in the paint to give the Friars a two-point advantage at the 1:13 mark. With 0:06 left, Reeves knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing to send the game to overtime. The score was knotted at 74 at the end of regulation.
To start the first overtime period, Reeves continued his shooting streak from deep to give the Friars a 77-74 lead. With 1:03 left, Reeves stole the ball and Duke finished a fastbreak layup. Providence led 83-81 entering the final minute. The score was tied at 83 at the end of the first overtime.
Watson scored the opening bucket of double overtime for the Friars. Watson executed a pick-and-roll off a Bynum assist to give the Friars control, 93-88, with 0:51 remaining.
Providence finished 33-78 (42.3%) from the field, 6-23 (26.1%) from three, and 23-31 (74.2%) from the free throw line. DePaul finished 37-76 (48.7%) from the field, 10-24 (41.7%) from three, and 6-8 (75.0%) from the free throw line. Romeo Weems scored a team-high 21 points for the Blue Demons.
The Friars finished with four players in double-figures, in Reeves, Duke, Watson and Horchler. Watson led the team with a career-high 14 rebounds and registered his third double-double of the season. Duke added six assists. The Friars controlled the boards and registered more steals than DePaul in the game.
Up next, the Friars stay home and take on the Butler Bulldogs for the second meeting in a week’s time. The contest is on Wednesday, December 30 at Alumni Hall in Providence, R.I. Tip-off is at 5:00 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.