Providence’s bid for a fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth took a blow as DePaul handed the Friars an 80-63 Big East defeat Saturday afternoon at Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
DePaul (10-14, 3-9) shot a season-high 60.4 percent from the field to earn its third conference road win this season.
Senior center Marin Maric led the way with 18 points and 8 rebounds while junior forward Max Strus canned five 3-pointers on his way to 17 points. Senior forward Tre’Darius McCallum (12 points, 10 rebounds) contributed his first double-double of the year.
Providence (16-9, 7-5) needed a late surge to shoot 33.8 percent from the field. Freshman backup center Nate Watson led the way with 14 points and junior guard Isaiah Jackson added 12.
DePaul took control late in the first half with a 10-0 run over a 2-minute, 40-second stretch.
Strus opened it with a 3-pointer, then Maric fed freshman forward Paul Reed for a dunk. Strus rewarded Maric with a pass for a dunk before Reed canned a 3-pointer to give the Blue Demons a 35-19 lead with 2:30 left in the half.
DePaul led by 15 at the break and immediately pushed the margin to 20 as junior guard Eli Cain (14 points, 5 assists) set up sophomore guard Brandon Cyrus for a layup and Strus for a 3-pointer.
Meanwhile, Providence struggled to find the range from outside. The Friars missed 17 of their 19 3-point attempts while sophomore guard Alpha Diallo (12.7 ppg) missed all nine shots he tried — three of them from 3-point range.
Providence played without senior guard Jalen Lindsey (10.1 ppg).
—Field Level Media