Demons Downed by Last Second Free-Throw to Friars

To say that the result of the DePaul/Providence game was disappointing would be a severe understatement.  The headline of the game is that the DePaul Blue Demons lost on a last second free-throw by a 38% shooter on a foul that is generally ignored.

The story of the game was that DePaul could not hit from 3 point land, while the Providence Friars uncharacteristically shot fluid.  In the preview of this game, it was pointed out that DePaul was a better shooter of 3 pointers and better at defending them than the Friars.   Providence came into the game shooting 32% from the outside, while the Demons came into game shooting nearly 34%.  However, during the game, the Friars made 40% of their 3 point shots going 10-25, while DePaul shot only 23.8% on 5-21 shooting from beyond the arch.

Why?  Why can’t we close out games?

Providence’s Maliek White came into the game shooting 30% from distance and made his first 3 three-point shots.  Luwane Pipkins came in shooting 31.6% and then had a stretch in the 2nd half where he made 4 three pointers in a row.

Conversely, DePaul’s best outside shooter, Jalen Coleman-Lands went 1-7 from outside, including going 0-5 on catch and shoot three-pointers, which are normally his bread and butter.  In the past two games, JCL’s 3 point slump has taken his season percentage from 38% to 34.4%.

With the outside shooting failing the team, DePaul would normally pound the ball inside and use their dynamic duo of Paul Reed and Jaylen Butz to hold the opposition in control.  Unfortunately, with 8:15 to go in the 1st half, Butz rolled his ankle leaving him unable to play the rest of the way.

This lead to Nick Ongenda playing big minutes.  Big Nick made some excellent defensive plays, including 3 blocks, but he was continually being muscled off the ball.  The Demons missed Butz’s strength and toughness for sure.

Even with the Butz injury, DePaul closed the half on a run 15-4 run to be up by 2 at the break.  Both teams at that point were shooting bad.  It was the basic rock fight.  The Friars were shooting 30% from the field while DePaul shot a measly 35%.

The second half saw Providence get on fire from outside the arch, eventually building a 10 point lead with 6 minutes to go after holding DePaul scoreless for 5 minutes.  When all hope was lost, the Demons began pecking away.  When Devin Gage made a 3 pointer with 1:21 to go, the Men in Blue were only down 3.

After a Friar missed free-throw, a missed, ill-advised 3 pointer by Charlie Moore, and an incredible charge take by Romeo Weems, the game was set up for Jalen Coleman-Lands to be the hero.

JCL was fouled on a 3-point shot/pass outside of the 3-point line that was called a 3 point shot call, that lead to JCL having the opportunity to take 3 free-throws to tie the game.

Coleman-Lands coolly made the 1st one, sweated out a time out, and then made the 2nd and 3rd shots to tie the game.  This set up the final sequence that ended with Providence’s worst free-throw shooter being gifted 2 foul shots with less than a second to go.  Nate Watson barely drew iron on his first shot and made his second to effectively end the game.

The Good

Paul Reed

Reed was the MVP of the game, period.  24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals, 1 assist, and only one turnover.  He was incredible.  The dude just want to win.  He will do everything he can to do so.  I have so much respect for his effort out there.  His offensive rating for the game was 142.

Devin Gage

Gage went 3-5 from the field with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and zero turnovers.  Sometime Gage is erratic, tonight he was not.

The Bad

Charlie Moore

Charlie Moore had another night of bad turnovers giving up 5 in total.  He was also off on his shooting, going 4-12 from the field for a total of 11 points with 5 assists.  The issue is that positive momentum changing plays by the Demons are killed off on plays like the following.  Instead of going up 3 or 4, the Moore turnover led to a killer 3, which put Providence up 2.  DePaul never lead again.

JCL’s 3 Point Shooting

Jalen Coleman-Lands has shot 2-14 from outside the arch in Big East play.  The Blue Demons are extremely dependent on him being an outside threat.  The most concerning part to me is that he has been 1-8 on Catch and Shoot 3 point shots.  Coming into conference play, JCL was shooting over 50% on these types of shots.

Next Up

Next Saturday, Blue Demons take on St. John’s in New York.  This game terrifies me, because under new Red Storm coach Mike Anderson the Johnnies run a fast paced, pressing type of game.  This is DePaul’s kryptonite as could be seen in the Cleveland State game.  After that game, the Men in Blue travel to Philadelphia to take on Villanova.  It is worrisome that such a promising season could fall off the rails early in conference play.  Let’s go DePaul!  Fix it!




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