It wasn’t easy, but they’ll take it.
The Friars Men’s basketball team inched closer to a coveted NCAA Tournament bid, defeating the Georgetown Hoyas 74-69 at Capital One Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Friars won despite getting killed on the glass. They were out-rebounded 43-31.
Fortunately, the Friars were able to force turnovers throughout the game. The Hoyas committed 11 turnovers, while the Friars committed just 4. Both teams shot the ball relatively well. The Friars shot 44 percent from the field while the Hoyas shot 41 percent.
The win keeps the Friars squarely in the NCAA tournament picture. They move to 9-7 in the conference. (A 10-8 record in the Big East Conference, or better, has been a recipe for a tournament bid over the last several years.)
A Big Win
This was a hard fought, character building win for the team.
It was a 1 point game with 1 minute left. The Friars had the ball. On the equivalent of a basketball broken play off of a three man weave, Alpha Diallo scored a basket driving to the hoop and was fouled. He missed the free throw.
That gave Georgetown a chance, down three, with 42 seconds left. Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing called a timeout of his own. Georgetown wasn’t successful with that possession. Georgetown guard Jahvon Blair missed a runner and Providence came down with the ball.
After a few consecutive fouls to put the Friars into the bonus, Rodney Bullock found himself on the charity stripe. He made the front end of the one-and-one. And then he made the second. That effectively ended the game and kept the tournament hopes alive.
The Friars started off slowly, shooting poorly from the field. Cooley was forced to call a timeout in the first half, after falling behind by 8.
The timeout was effective. The Friars went on an 8-0 run. They tied the score at 23 apiece. That forced Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing to call timeout with 8 minutes left in the first half.
Georgetown responded. The Hoyas continued to shoot a high percentage in the first half.
The Friars went into halftime trailing by 5 points. That’s largely because the Friars shot 39 percent from the field in the half. Georgetown shot 55 percent.
NCAA Tournament in Sight
Providence went on an 10-0 run in the middle of the second half, courtesy of a technical foul called against Ewing. That gave them a 5-point lead in the middle of the second half.
They Friars got up by as much as 11 points in the second half. But Georgetown wouldn’t go away. Fortunately for the Friars, they made a few extra plays at the end of the game to secure the win.
Bullock led the Friars in scoring with 19 points. Superstar senior point guard Kyron Cartwright scored 16. Hometown boy, Nat3e Watson scored 12 points and played some good defense on the Hoyas’ big men.
Next up for the Friars is a tough road trip to Cincinnati to face top 5 ranked Xavier at 6:30 pm on Wednesday.