PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Jeremiah Kelly scored a career-high 23 points to help end DePaul's 24-game losing streak in Big East play with a 79-76 victory over Providence Thursday night.
It was the Blue Demons' first conference victory since they defeated Marquette over a year ago, and their first road victory since they topped Cincinnati on March 6, 2008.
Cleveland Melvin scored 20 points for DePaul (7-18, 1-12) and Brandon Young put up 17, including 15 in the second half.
The Blue Demons built a 10-point halftime lead as starting Friar forwards Kadeem Batts and Bilal Dixon each had three fouls before the break. Providence (14-12, 3-10) slowly came back though, eventually tying the score at 58.
DePaul put together a quick 8-1 spurt to regain control, but the Friars' Marshon Brooks would not back down. He banked in a shot to bring Providence within four, 69-65, and then converted a three-point play to trim the margin to one at 69-68.
The Blue Demons answered with a free throw and a hook shot to go back up four, but Brooks came back with another three-point play and DePaul led 72-71. With 57 seconds left, Kelly hit a 3-pointer to bring the margin back to four, but Vincent Council's 3-pointer made it a one-point game again.
Then the Friars were forced to foul, and Kelly sank both free throws. Brooks followed with a layup, and DePaul's Jimmy Drew missed his one-and-one free throw. The Friars had the last shot, but turned the ball over.
Brooks desperately tried to foul Kelly, resulting in an intentional foul with less than a second left. Kelly made two free throws to cap the scoring.
Brooks, the nation's third-leading scorer, led Providence with 28 points, including 10 of his team's final 13. Duke Mondy added 17 points and seven rebounds.
DePaul shot 75 percent from the free-throw line (15 of 20), while Providence could only manage to go 14 for 24.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.