Friar Basketball

How It All Fell Apart at DePaul


It took a nearly impossible set of circumstances, but Providence fell to DePaul in what can only be described as a complete late game meltdown.

Leading by nine points with under two minutes to play, PC fell 64-63 after DePaul’s Billy Garrett finished a traditional three point play off of a PC turnover to put the Demons up by a point. Kyron Cartwright then missed a layup at the buzzer to close out a shocking collapse in Chicago.

If you didn’t stay up for this one, here’s how it all fell apart for the Friars.

Isaiah Jackson made a pair of free throws with 1:57 remaining to put Providence ahead 58-49. Garrett and Eli Cain (who came in averaging over 17 points per game) struggled so mightily throughout the night that a nine point advantage might as well have been 20, but Friar turnovers and mistakes breathed life into what had been a dormant DePaul offense.

Jackson fouled Cain 18 feet from the basket sending him to the line for two. He made both and it was 58-51 with 1:49 to play.

Twelve seconds later things tightened. PC center Emmitt Holt, playing with four fouls, got the ball just in front of the halfcourt line. He was trapped in the corner as all of his teammates retreated up the floor, leading to Holt stumbling to the ground and firing a pass from one knee directly to Cain. Cain then took the ball to Holt’s chest, drew a foul, and went to the free throw line with a chance to make it a one possession game.

Cain hit both shots and Holt went to the bench with his fifth foul. 58-53 with 1:37 remaining.

Providence couldn’t inbound the ball after the second free throw and burned a timeout.

The Friars then couldn’t get the ball over halfcourt for the second possession in a row. This time they got the ball in the hands of their point guard, but Cartwright had his pocket picked out of a trap and suddenly it was 58-55 with 1:22 left after a DePaul layup.

Providence got a break on their next possession, as Cartwright was fouled 40 feet from the basket. He made both shots at the line to give Providence a five point lead.

There wasn’t much PC could do about DePaul’s next possession as Cain hit a difficult half hook in the lane to pull the Demons back to within three with 46 seconds to go.

Seven seconds later Jackson was fouled and made one of two. 61-57 Friars with :39 on the clock.

Nine seconds later Garrett kept the pressure on PC by knocking down an elbow jumper to bring DePaul to within two.

PC freshman Alpha Diallo showed nerves of steel six seconds later, calmly connecting on a pair of free throws to push the advantage back to four with 22 seconds left.

The freshman giveth and the freshman taketh away.

Diallo reached in and fouled Garrett on the other end who made both free throws to cut the lead to two, and suddenly all of the pressure was on Providence and all of the momentum sided with DePaul.

Then came the backbreaker.

Rodney Bullock inbounded the ball under PC’s basket with a timeout in his pocket and 15 seconds remaining on the clock with his team up two. DePaul sent multiple defenders at Cartwright, so Bullock launched a pass to Jackson at halfcourt which sailed over his head.

DePaul recovered the loose ball under their own basket and got the ball into the hands of Garrett, their senior playmaker. Garrett drove the length of the floor and finished a layup while being fouled by Bullock under the basket. Tie game, four seconds left.

Timeout PC.

Garrett knocked down the free throw to give DePaul their first lead since it was 10-9.

PC couldn’t have asked for a better shot at the other end. Cartwright inbounded the ball to Bullock near halfcourt, who flipped a pass back to Cartwright. PC’s point guard got to the front of the rim, but missed the layup as time expired.

The Friars went without a field goal for nearly five minutes to close the game, as DePaul closed on a 15-5 run to pull out an improbable victory.

This was a crushing loss for the Friars, who were looking for their first true road win after starting 0-4 on the road this season. Providence controlled the game throughout, taking a double digit lead late in the first half and leading by double figures for much of the second before the unthinkable happened in the final two minutes.


  1. Bob Dugan

    January 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Has to be the worst loss of the Cooley era. I thought the B.C, game was bad but this was beyond belief. The Friars should have been up by 20 points in the second half. DePaul is an awful team and it is easy to see why they come in last place every year. Unfortunately the friars prediction of coming in 9th in the Big East loosk about right. This is not the same team that started 10-2, don’t know what is going on by I hope that Cooley does.

  2. Pat Genova

    January 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Saw the game too and yes…awful. It appears that PC stopped playing with about 6 minutes left and tried run out the clock….this led to no movement by the offense, last second forced shots with the shot clock, and the DePaul comeback.

  3. Anonymous

    January 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    As a graduate of 89 this is the worst loss that I can ever remember. I love coach Cooley but this one is on him. The announcer calling the game at the 5 minute mark noticed and called the Friars out on go to a “prevent” offense and said many times this throws a team off sync and that is exactly what happened last night. Losses like that make me not want to renew my season tickets after 22 years. I didn’t sleep last night as that game was a combination of Nightmare on Elm St, Friday the 13th and Halloween all wrapped up in one. When we don’t make the tournament this year and I referring to the NIT this will be the game that keeps us out.

  4. 89Friar

    January 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Also an ’89 grad and 28 year season ticket holder….this is a low point in the Cooley era – I hope it is the bottom and they can work up from here. If it gets any worse – only people in the Dunk will be selling coffee and $18 beers.

  5. Anonymous

    January 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    This is one of those games that you circled as a win before the season started. The Friars looked very rattled the last two minutes, sorry, but Cooley has to do a better job of preparing the team in these situations. The BC game has sent this team into a complete tailspin and Cooley and his staff need to get them out of their funk NOW. Otherwise, the Friars will be playing in one of the two play-in games in the Big East tournament, how depressing is that?

  6. Kurt Collins

    January 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    All of you are correct, most of all the announcer who saw it coming. It’s hard to say it was a must win on January 10, but it kind of was. We are getting some outstanding production from some young players, and when healthy, I feel we can beat every team but ‘Nova. And yes, it is strange to see Cooley out coached.

  7. Mike Sokoll

    January 11, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Made a comment on another site. Terrible is the sum total of the coaching staff. Maybe they need to join the Patriot League so no one will see them play. Hopefully coach Cooley had a long talk with himself.

  8. Anonymous

    January 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Congratulations to DePaul. They are a better team than you think.

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  10. Michael Skea

    January 12, 2017 at 4:21 am

    It was a hideous coaching display. Cooley is a tremendous recruiter but his game coaching skills have always been very suspect and never more glaringly deficient than last night. It was an almost incomprehensible collapse. You could see the handwriting on the wall from the 6:20 mark when he instructed his team to “use the clock”. I could go on and on. Tremendous disappointment.

  11. Mercuryhg

    January 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Why did mr. Bentil BAILOUT?

  12. Mercuryhg

    January 12, 2017 at 8:33 pm


  13. Anonymous

    January 13, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I totally agree with Michael. Coach Cooley is a great recruiter. .not a good bench coach. Last year’s team kept launching three point try after three point try although they were ranked one of the 300 worse in the COUNTRY!!! He was helped by a couple of great players.

  14. Chris Armentano

    January 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Stuff happens. Cooley has a young team and go to guy in Bullock who seems too small to dominate. They will improve.

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