CHICAGO (AP) — Aljami Durham scored 17 points and No. 21 Providence beat DePaul 70-53 on Saturday.
The Friars (13-1, 3-0 Big East), off to their best start since the 2015-16 team won 14 of its first 15, grabbed a 25-point halftime lead on the way to their eighth straight win.
Justin Minaya and Jared Bynum each scored 12 points. Minaya grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds, and Bynum had seven assists.
The Friars made 8 of 15 3-pointers, and coach Ed Cooley earned his 299th win over 16 seasons at Fairfield and Providence.
Javon Freeman-Liberty led DePaul (9-3, 0-2) with 22 points. The Blue Demons shot 29.8% while setting a season low in scoring for the second straight game.
Providence made it look easy after beating short-handed, 15th-ranked Seton Hall on Wednesday night.
It was 42-17 after the lowest-scoring half this season for both a Friars opponent and DePaul. Any doubts about the outcome vanished soon after the opening tip.
Providence went on a 15-2 run in the opening minutes, capped by A.J. Reeves’ 3 that made it 18-7. And with the score 20-14, things really got out of hand.
The Friars scored 22 straight, with Minaya nailing a corner 3 in the closing seconds to make it 42-14. David Jones banked in a 3 for DePaul at the buzzer, ending a scoreless stretch of 9:27.
Providence: The Friars have experience and balance, with four players averaging double figures in points.
DePaul: The Blue Demons are counting on new coach Tony Stubblefield to turn around the program. There is obviously work to do. They struggled to score again coming off a 63-59 loss at Butler on Wednesday.
Providence figures to move up after beating No. 15 Seton Hall and taking out the Blue Demons. The Friars earned their first ranking since February 2016 when they entered the poll at No. 22 on on Dec. 20.
Providence: At Marquette on Tuesday.
DePaul: At St. John’s on Wednesday.