PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Noah Locke had a career-high 29 points, including seven 3-pointers, to help No. 22 Providence fend off DePaul 75-64 on Saturday.
Bryce Hopkins added 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Friars (15-5, 7-2 Big East) snapped a two-game losing skid and improved to 11-0 at home. They are 2-2 without point guard Jared Bynum, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a torso injury.
The Blue Demons (9-11, 3-6) came in fresh off a home victory over eighth-ranked Xavier. But they dropped their sixth straight road game and are now 0-4 in conference games away from home. Umjoja Gibson had 16 points and five assists for DePaul and Da’Sean Nelson added 13 points.
DePaul pulled within 53-50 with just under 10 minutes to play. But a 15-8 push by the Friars, capped by Locke’s seventh 3 of the day, pushed the lead back to 68-58 with 5:10 left.
The Friars finished 10 of 23 from beyond the arc.
The Friars sped out to a 14-2 lead, connecting on four of their first six attempts from 3. The Blue Demons missed nine of their first 10 shots, then ran off a 9-0 run to close the gap.
DePaul got as close as a point late in the half, but the Friars closed with a 12-6 flourish for a 37-30 halftime lead.
While Saturday’s win helped the Friars avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, they will still be in danger of dropping out of the rankings after two losses this past week.
DePaul: The Blue Demons were hoping to carry some momentum coming out of the Xavier win but must get better on the road if they want to finish the season on a positive note.
Providence: A nice bounce-back win, but this team is clearly missing the floor presence of Bynum.
DePaul: At Georgetown on Tuesday.
Providence: Hosts Butler on Wednesday.
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