DePaul basketball: Fourth straight loss

depaul basketball

DePaul basketball lost its fourth straight game on Saturday, losing to the Providence Friars 57-47. Earlier this season when the Demons and Friars faced off, Providence pulled out a 95-90 double overtime win in a game filled with back-and-forth action and one of DePaul’s better shooting nights.

On Saturday, poor shooting cost the Demons yet another win.

“There are games or even in practice when the ball is flying around and looks crisp, looks sharp,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. “But sometimes, when we get into a drought situation, those things kind of get stagnated. We have got to figure that part out both physically and emotionally of how we can create more opportunities by sharing the ball. We don’t have that one guy that can get you 30-35 [points], so we got to do it sometimes in a multitude of ways with different guys in position to make plays.”

Starting point guard Charlie Moore missed his second game of the season, out with a left knee injury. Without Moore - the Blue Demons’ assists leader and second leading scorer - DePaul struggled to generate much offense against a good defensive Friars’ team.

In Moore’s place, freshman guard Kobe Elvis got his first career start, adding five points on 2-for-10 shooting, along with three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore center Nick Ongenda also hit a milestone, pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds. As Saturday’s player of the game, freshman David Jones added 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks and was the only Blue Demon to reach double figures - registering the first such game of his career.

“He’s a very assertive and aggressive personality - that’s how he plays the game. But it’s very, very difficult to throw a guy into a season this late and say, ‘hey, perform and do everything we need you to do,’” Leitao said. “He’s still learning offense… timing… concepts… He’s a very willing learner and he keeps a very positive attitude.”

At the break, it seemed as though the Demons were still in the game, with the Friars holding a slim lead of 30-28; but another dismal offensive performance put the game out of reach for DePaul. In the first 15 minutes of the second half, the Blue Demons scored only 11 points, allowing Providence to rack up a 50-39 lead.

The Friars’ defense was too much for the Demons’ attacks, as Providence finished the night with nine blocks and six steals.

Saturday’s loss saw the worst shooting night for DePaul this season. The Blue Demons shot a season-low 30.6%, scoring on only 19 of 62 shots from the field. This was also DePaul’s lowest score of the season as well - the Demons led for just over two minutes of the entire game.

In regards to Moore’s injury, Leitao didn’t offer much of a timeline for his return.

“It’s not your average knee injury. There’s no ligament damage or anything else. But with the swelling and bruising on the inside, it’s something that’s hampered him enough where he can’t do basketball things,” Leitao said. “I couldn’t tell you if it’s day-to-day, week-to-week, or what have you.”

The Blue Demons kick off a three-game road trip on Wednesday when they face Seton Hall in Newark, New Jersey. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

Photo by Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia