PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Bryce Cotton continued his superb senior season Saturday, netting a game-high 22 points and handing out six assists as Providence ran past DePaul, 84-61.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Providence, which came in having dropped four of its previous five games. The Friars (17-9, 7-6 Big East) placed five players in double figures with Kadeem Batts scoring 15 points and LaDontae Henton pumping in 13.
Brandon Young poured in 18 points to lead DePaul (10-16, 2-11) with Sandi Marcius contributing 15 points and six rebounds.
PC’s last win came exactly two weeks ago. The opponent? The same DePaul squad that’s now dropped eight straight Big East contests.
When the two teams met in Rosemont, Ill., DePaul provided Providence with all sorts of fits before falling, 77-72. Saturday, the Friars dominated right from the opening tap and never looked back.
Providence opened the game on a 23-7 run capped by a sweet feed from Cotton to Carson Desrosiers, who buried a baseline jumper. The Friars missed just one of their initial 11 shots with Josh Fortune (10 points) leading the hot start with two 3-pointers and a layup that came after the Blue Demons turned the ball over near midcourt.
The Friars continued to keep plenty of distance between themselves and the Blue Demons on their way to grabbing a 49-26 lead at halftime. PC’s largest lead was 24 points with 1:38 remaining.
PC shot 64 percent in the opening 20 minutes with Cotton leading the way with 15 points on 5-of-6 from the field and four assists. DePaul was 10-for-30 for 33.3 percent.
The domination continued in the second half. A vicious one-handed slam dunk by Batts came at the expense of Marcius, who was charged with a foul. Batts made the free throw to extend the lead to 52-30.
A 12-2 run by DePaul helped made things a little interesting as the Blue Demons closed to within 74-60 with 4:35 remaining. By that point, Young had scored 10 second-half points while PC was adjusting to life without Fortune, who fouled out with 5:44 left.
Taking a page from their early game pattern, PC went up again by 20 points when Tyler Harris made two free throws with 1:36 left. Cotton received a standing ovation after he was taken out with 45 seconds remaining.
The Friars and Blue Demons have now met 12 times since DePaul joined the Big East prior to the 2005-06 season. PC has recorded a 9-3 record and now leads the all-time series, 24-8.
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