Friar Basketball

Looking Back: Providence vs. Xavier


The Friars catch fire in the second half of a game they simply needed to have…

Game: Providence vs. Xavier, February 15, 2017

Where the Friars Stood: So, you’re saying there’s a chance? Providence (15-11 overall, 5-8 in the Big East heading into this one) were fresh off of a 71-65 victory over #22 Butler.

With Xavier struggling through injuries and a vulnerable Creighton group to follow (the Jays had lost star guard Mo Watson), PC had a chance to string together a late season winning streak to make their way back to the NCAA Tournament bubble.

The Friars knew they’d most likely have to win out from this point on to get an at-large bid. While the win over Butler kicked off what would eventually become a season-closing six game winning streak, Providence began playing better basketballĀ a few weeks earlier.

It was then that they won back-to-back games against Seton Hall and at Georgetown, and followed that up with painful last minute losses to St. John’s, Villanova, and in overtime at Seton Hall. They also mixed in a win at Marquette.

During that span freshman Alpha Diallo began to assert himself, and George Mason transfer Isaiah Jackson found his footing and emerged as a viable rotational player. With that, Providence was suddenly much deeper on the wings.

The Result: A tight game turned into a runaway as the Friars caught fire in the second half. Jackson scored 10 points off of the bench in just 17 minutes, Rodney Bullock did it all (16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks), and Kyron Cartwright finished a pair of athletic tip-ins on his way to a 17 point, seven rebound, five assist night.

Not to be overlooked is the timely shooting of Jalen Lindsey, who knocked down a 3 when PC was down 10 in the first half, and made two more big shots from deep in the second half.

Providence rolled to a 76-63 victory thanks to a 46 point second half, and suddenly the NCAA Tournament hopes were very much alive.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar



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