Friar Basketball

13 Things from Providence’s Loss to Creighton

Goodine vs. Creighton

Takeaways from Providence’s 67-65 loss to Creighton on Saturday afternoon.

1. Creighton did their best to hand this one to Providence late. The Friars trailed by 12 with under five minutes left in the game, thanks in large part to 6-22 shooting through the first 15 minutes of the second half. After Noah Horchler made a pair of free throws with 4:49 on the clock to make it a 63-53 game, Creighton started doling out belated gifts.

They fouled Greg Gantt on a loose ball going for an offensive rebound. Gantt made 1-2 at the line to cut it to 63-56 with just over four minutes left.

PC switched to a press with three minutes remaining, and Damien Jefferson lost the ball out of bounds on the first possession against the press. On the ensuing possession, Nate Watson slipped a screen, scored, and got fouled. Watson missed the free throw attempt, but Jefferson committed a lane violation, allowing Watson to finish the three point play. Suddenly, it was 63-59 with over two minutes to go.

This remained a four point game after Creighton missed a layup and Providence could not convert on two opportunities on the other end with over a minute on the clock. Denzel Mahoney missed an open 3-pointer with under a minute left, but PC could not secure the offensive rebound.

With 21 seconds remaining, PC was forced to foul sharpshooter Mitch Ballock. The Friars had a foul to give, however, so PC then fouled Mahoney who missed the front end of a 1-1.

Jefferson fouled Horchler on the rebound at the :15 mark sending the Friar big to the line. Horchler made them both, setting up a wild final sequence.

Down two, freshman Alyn Breed came up with a strip that deflected off of Creighton out of bounds. Ed Cooley drew up a play for Horchler out of the timeout, who drove past Ballock for the tying layup with seven seconds remaining.

2. The final possession was a matter of a great point guard making a very good play. All Big East guard Marcus Zegarowski got past David Duke near the free throw line, drew Nate Watson, and found Christian Bishop for a dunk with 0.5 on the clock. Zegarowski explained after the game that he assumed he would get by whoever was guarding him, and his plan from the start was to draw Watson and dish to a trailing Bishop.

3. Cooley said this was the best Zegarowski, the Massachusetts native, has played against Providence. He made six 3-pointers, snatched seven rebounds, and had four assists. The junior is now 4-1 in his career against the Friars.

4. While Jefferson made mistakes late, he was excellent through most of the game: 9-13 shooting from the field, eight rebounds, six steals. Jefferson and Mahoney were two excellent pickups for Greg McDermott on the transfer market. When Jefferson transferred in from New Mexico the news hard made a ripple. He averaged just over five points and two rebounds, yet he has turned into a very good two-way player at Creighton.

Mahoney struggled offensively, but was tasked with guarding Duke (who shot 5-19 from the field). Mahoney was the Ohio Valley Freshman of the Year at Southeast Missouri State prior to coming to Creighton.

5. PC led this one for over ten minutes in the first half. After starting 6-20 from the field, Providence got hot from beyond the arc midway through the half. AJ Reeves hit Gantt with a crosscourt pass for a three that put PC up 16-14, and Providence got 3-pointers on their next two possessions from Horchler and Reeves to push ahead, 22-15. After Ed Croswell scored on his third attempt of a possession, Providence led 24-18.

6. Creighton ripped off a 15-0 run after trailing 24-18. The burst included a three from Zegarowski and a complete bomb from Ballock.

7. In the midst of the run, Ed Cooley turned to Syracuse transfer Brycen Goodine. It was a tough spot for Goodine. Creighton had gone on a 10-0 burst prior to Goodine entering the game. He had not played since a two minute cameo versus Butler on Dec. 23, and hadn’t taken a shot since PC defeated Fairleigh Dickinson in early December. Goodine turned the ball over on his first touching, leading to a transition bucket and front rimmed a pair of threes before finding Reeves for a deep one to keep PC afloat.

8. Cooley was forced to look for an alternative after point guard Jared Bynum went down with an injury while covering Zegarowski on a drive halfway through the first half.

9. What a killer sequence to close the first half. Three pointers by Duke and Reeves helped slice Creighton’s lead to five with a minute and a half left in the first half. After Ed Croswell was fouled with under ten seconds left in the half, Providence had a chance to go into the locker room down three.

Instead, Croswell missed both freebies, and Ballock swished a 35 footer as the halftime buzzer sounded. 40-32 at the break.

10. At the half, Ballock and Zegarowski combined to make 7-12 from deep, while Jefferson torched PC (7-8 from the field). Creighton fronted Nate Watson and the Friar big man took just three shots in the opening half.

11. Providence finished with the game with 19 offensive rebounds and made 9-23 (39%) from beyond the arc (typically a formula for success), but they were just 13-42 inside the arc. Even with those 19 offensive boards, PC was outscored 28-22 in the paint.

12. Horchler played his best game in black and white — scoring 12 points in 16 minutes. He made 2-3 from three and all hit all four of his three throw attempts.

13. After not playing in the first half, Breed played nine minutes in the second half in Bynum’s absence.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login