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DePaul seeks better effort in rematch at No. 11 Providence

DePaul brings a rare Big East Conference winning streak into Saturday night's contest at No. 11 Providence.

The Blue Demons (12-10, 3-9 Big East) are coming off back-to-back wins against Xavier and Georgetown, their first league winning streak since the 2018-19 season.

The Friars (20-2, 10-1), meanwhile, have won seven straight and are off to their best start since 1972-73, when they reached the Final Four.

DePaul's 82-74 victory against the Hoyas on Wednesday wasn't as close as the final score indicated.

The Blue Demons rallied from an early 12-point deficit and trailed by one at halftime. DePaul broke the game open with 26 straight points and led 75-49 with four minutes left before a late rally by the Hoyas tightened it up.

"I do think we've got a lot of room for growth," DePaul coach Tony Stubblefield said afterward. "We've got to be able to put a full 40 minutes together (and) be more connected defensively."

Stubblefield wasn't pleased with the letdown.

"Obviously, I'd like to end the game a little bit better than we did the last three or four minutes with some of the turnovers," he added. "We got really careless there with the way we ended the game."

The driving force was freshman David Jones, who recorded the first triple-double in school history with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

"This young man has a bright future," Stubblefield said.

Providence has been idle since Sunday and enters off a similar result against the same opponent. The Friars trailed Georgetown by three at halftime and rallied to win by 19.

Jared Bynum knocked down 7 of 8 shots from 3-point range and scored 32 points in the 71-52 win.

"It's my first time playing in the D.C. area since high school," said Bynum, a Maryland native. "I just wanted to put on a show for them and get a win so we could all enjoy it together."

Providence coach Ed Cooley, who is in his 11th season at the school, called it "as good of a performance as I've seen since I've been the coach here."

Bynum is shooting 45.5 percent from long distance, as opposed to 11.9 percent last season.

"My confidence is definitely on a different level," he said, "and I have to credit that to my coaches. They know how good I can be and they know how much work I put in and they're always on me."

Cooley was pleased to have a lengthy break between games before hosting the Blue Demons.

"We definitely need a break, given how sore our bodies are," he said after the win against the Hoyas.

Providence easily beat DePaul, 70-53, in Chicago on Jan. 1.

"We've been in every game for the most part with the exception of Providence at home," Stubblefield said. "I didn't think we played very well against Providence. They jumped out on us."

Both of DePaul's recent wins happened without injured players Javon Freeman-Liberty (groin) and Javan Johnson (hand). Their status for this game is uncertain.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 10, 2022

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