After watching a big lead evaporate in the final minutes, LaDontae Henton bailed out Providence for a rare win on the road.
Henton scored 24 points, including a basket with 1.7 seconds left, to lead the Friars to a 73-71 win over DePaul on Saturday.
After Providence blew an 11-point second-half lead, the score was tied at 71 when Vincent Council dribbled at the top of the key. With 5 seconds left, he penetrated and found Henton, who buried an 18-foot jumper to put Providence ahead.
After a timeout, DePaul's Brandon Young threw a full-court pass to Cleveland Melvin, but Henton blocked his shot.
"I set a ball screen, pick and pop, and they trapped our point guard. It's a shot I take every day in practice. I was wide open. If I didn't make I would've been mad at myself. There wasn't too much pressure because I was wide open. I just took my time and made it," Henton said.
Bryce Cotton added 19 points and Council had 14 points and 11 assists for the Friars (13-16, 3-13), who snapped a 22-game Big East road losing streak. Providence had lost five in a row overall.
"We finally got a road win. I feel relieved," Henton said.
Morgan Moses led DePaul (11-17, 2-14) with 13 points and Young scored 11. Donnavan Kirk had eight blocked shots for the Blue Demons, who fell into last place in the Big East.
"Tough one to take, the way it ended," DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. "Our guys did a really good job of battling back in the second half after being down and getting the score tied. Jamee Crockett goes to the line as a young freshman, ties the game in a pressure situation, and we've got one stop to make to send it to overtime, and it just didn't happen.
"They had a high pick-and-roll, Cleveland and Brandon had a communication malfunction there — one switched, one didn't — and they got a wide-open (shot)."
Providence had lost three recent games by three or fewer points.
"We needed that for ourselves, proving that we can win late in the game. We've had so many close games come down to the same exact possession. The fact that we were able to get over the hump means we're still growing," Providence coach Ed Cooley said.
The Friars' previous Big East road win came at DePaul on Jan. 14, 2010.
Trailing 69-60 with 5:27 left, Melvin hit a jumper to start an 11-2 DePaul run. Young made a pair of free throws to get DePaul within 71-66 and then had a three-point play to close it to 71-69 with 1:35 left. Crockett tied the game with 33.5 seconds left with two free throws.
Cotton gave Providence a 46-45 lead with a 3-pointer early in the second half. Brice Kofane had a dunk to extend the Providence lead to 52-47 with 11:40 left. Later in the second half, Henton had a put-back and Cotton made another 3 to increase the lead to 60-49 with 9:37 left.
DePaul led 37-35 at the half. Crockett led DePaul with seven points in the half and Young added five.
Melvin, who came in averaging 17.7 points per game, was held to four in the half, but had 10 rebounds.
DePaul was just 3 for 13 from 3-point range in the half after going 6 for 31 in a Monday loss to St. John's. Council scored 10 points in the first half for the Friars.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.