Friar Basketball

Cartwright Comes Up Big

Cartwright Ball in Front

Providence point guard Kyron Cartwright was a game-time decision heading into the Friars’ Saturday afternoon tilt with Seton Hall. At the end of the day, he was the best player on the floor in a 64-61 victory that the Friars so desperately needed.

PC’s season reached a low point on Wednesday night, as they saw a nine-point lead slip away in the final two minutes of a loss to DePaul. The loss dropped Providence to 1-4 in conference play, and the team that surprised so many when they got off to a 10-2 start to the season was unquestionably reeling.

Cartwright has been hobbled of late with knee tendinitis that led to him missing a majority of last Saturday’s loss to Creighton and troubled him on Wednesday in Chicago.

And when fingers were being pointed in every which direction over the past couple of days, Cartwright redirected them all at himself, putting his team on his back, taking control against the Hall, and playing with the toughness of a veteran who wasn’t quite ready to close the book on his junior season.

Providence led by seven after Rodney Bullock (22 points) connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the afternoon with a shade under five minutes to play, but the talented Pirates battled back, scoring seven straight to tie it up.

The Friars twice more took the lead — first when Emmitt Holt scored on a driving layup with just under two minutes left, and again when Cartwright connected on pair of free throws with 1:05 on the clock — but the Hall countered each time.

Cartwright broke the tie — and Seton Hall’s back — for good by connecting on a step-back 17 footer with around 30 seconds left. He was fouled on the shot, made the free throw, and when the Friars got a stop on the other end it sealed an exciting win in front of nearly 10,000 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Cartwright’s five points in the final minute capped another big game in what has been a very good junior season.

He scored 20 points on 7-14 shooting, dished out eight assists, and turned the ball over once against an aggressive Pirate defense.

After the game, Ed Cooley lauded the “big time” leadership of Cartwright and Bullock.

Cartwright has been a tone-setter all season for the Friars.

When many feared PC would have their hands full in the season opener against Vermont, he picked the Catamounts apart to the tune of 12 assists.

He led a comeback against Rhode Island with 19 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and four 3-point field goals.

He set the pace against UMass with 12 more assists.

Perhaps we learned most about Cartwright as the Friars began to struggle. Following a shocking loss to Boston College and a blowout at Xavier, PC was once again on the verge of being run out of the building on the road at Butler before Cartwright said “enough is enough” and scored a career-high 26 points in bringing Providence to within shouting distance before falling off late.

The knee has slowed him over the last week. Cartwright played just 12 minutes and had to watch from the sideline as Creigton’s Mo Watson took freshman Maliek White to school in the closing minutes of what had been a two possession game throughout. Against DePaul he made just one field goal and turned the ball over five times.

Saturday afternoon against Seton Hall marked the return to form for Cartwright, and his impact went beyond the numbers. More impressive than his 20-point, eight-assist night was the will that was on display.

He weaved in and out of Seton Hall’s defense in the first half as PC built a 16-point lead, and simply would not let his team lose in the closing minute.

When Providence needed an answer most, Cartwright provided it on Saturday — and PC got the win they so badly needed.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar

Email: kevin.farrahar@friarbasketball.com

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Derec Lamendola

    January 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Why IS Every One BY Him And Because About Everthing IS BY Ed Cooley And Because He The Coach And Coach Cooley Got Win On The Road And Home And Win the Conference And We Need Every One AT The DUNK This Year We Need Every One Coming

  2. Grayson Buza

    January 15, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Great bounce back game. But man, that DePaul loss hurts!

  3. Pingback: Friar Starting Five: Sunday Edition - Friar Basketball

  4. Dex

    January 16, 2017 at 3:51 am

    I believe the score was 65-61 NOT 64-61

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