Friar Basketball

Highlights, Interviews from Upset Saturday

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It’s video Sunday on Friarbasketball.com. Below you’ll find a three minute highlight reel of Providence’s thrilling 81-68 victory over #20 Creighton, and exclusive interviews by our Craig Belhumeur with LaDontae Henton and Ed Cooley.

But first, some picked up pieces after re-watching last night’s game.

1. Starting and closing runs. Creighton coach Greg McDermott stressed the importance of starting each half strong, but it was the Friars kicking off each with a run. Providence opened the first half with a 9-3 spurt in which Bryce Cotton knocked down a pair of three pointers, and after leading 37-30 at halftime they opened the second with another 9-3 run to push their lead to 13.

The two teams played a relatively even first, but an 8-2 close to the first half gave Providence some separation, and the early spurt gave way to a comfortable second half.

2. Reacting to Batts/Harris going out. Things didn’t feel so comfortable at the 16:30 mark of the second half. Kadeem Batts picked up two quick fouls, sending him to the bench with three, and on the possession after Batts’ third foul Tyler Harris was called for a bump and went to the pine with four.

Creighton scored, cutting the lead to 11 against what may have been viewed as a punchless offensive unit for the Friars (Cotton/Fortune/Bancroft/Henton/Desrosiers), but Cotton drained his third three pointer off of a Carson Desrosiers pick — the shot kicking off the best basketball of the game for PC.

LaDontae Henton bullied his way through Doug McDermott for a score, Desrosiers had a terrific block on an up and under layup that resulted in a Cotton scoop on the other end (the play of the game from this vantage point) and then Fortune tipped in his own miss and it was quickly 53-35.

For all of the depth issues, Providence broke this one open with two reserves on the floor, and two of their top four scorers watching from the bench.

3. Henton’s “keep them at bay” threes. Henton is quietly shooting .379 from deep this year, but it’s been when he’s hit them that has been key. During the Brown meltdown he hit a monster three late to tie it, when St. John’s was surging back on Thursday he nailed one to push a three point lead to six, and again on Saturday he made them count.

Creighton had cut PC’s first half lead to just one with under seven minutes to play, but Henton connected on a three, which was followed by a basket and a foul by Batts (a possession made possible by a Lee Goldsbrough offensive rebound), and PC had their cushion back quickly.

4. Putting it away. Henton hit another three at the 12 minute mark of the second half to quell any thoughts of a Creighton comeback, and then followed that up with two and-ones — the first set up by a heady steal and dish by Ted Bancroft.

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