NEW: PC Edges Creighton 70-66 on Senior Night
Thursday, March 03, 2016
Providence College Friars (21-9, 9-8 Big East) defeated the (18-12, 9-8 Big East) Creighton Blue Jays 70-66 on Wednesday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Friars sweep the season series with the Blue Jays and jump into 4th place in the Big East.
" Good win, I thought this was a game that our guys were really prepared for, we had two great days of preparation. I think both teams, this was probably one of the bigger games on our schedule for both Creighton and Providence, another Big East War, Big East battle," said PC Head Coach Ed Cooley after the game.
See the Five Takeaways Slideshow Below
Providence was up one, 56-55 with 5:38 to play in the game, when Ben Bentil hit a three to give the Friars a 59-55 lead with 5 minutes to play.
Creighton got within two points, 61-59 with 3:33 to play but Bentil would extend the lead again with a free throw and then a three to put the Friars up 65-59 with 1:20 to play.
In the final five minutes of action, Ben Bentil would score 9 straight points for Providence and 11 points total in that time period.
The Friars trailed by as much as 8, 43-35, with 15:41 left to play in the game before coming back to tie the game at 69 on a Ben Bentil three, and then taking a 51-49 lead on a layup by Rodney Bullock with 9 minutes to play.
PC would trail again, 55-54, before Jalen Lindsey two free throws to give the Friars the lead for good. The Friars shot 21 free throws in the second half, making 15 of them.
The Friars led by as much as 7 points, 11-4, early in the first half before the Blue Jays fought back and eventually took a 19-17 lead.
Teams would exchange leads over the few minutes before the Blue Jays would take a 32-28 lead into the locker room after hitting a three with seconds left.
Providence shot 33% in the first half.
The Friars were led by Ben Bentil who poured in 27 points on 9 of 21 shooting from the field and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Kris Dunn followed up with 17 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds.
The Friars close the regular season on Saturday, March 5 when they visit the St. John's Red Storm at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Providence beat St. John's in the second game of the Big East season.
Tip off is set for 12:30 p.m.
Related Slideshow: 5 Takeaways From PC’s 70-66 Win Over Creighton
With this win, Providence is now a 4 seed in next week's Big East tournament, as they own the tie breaker with Butler.
A win on Saturday over last place St. John's would lock up that spot. A loss on Saturday and things could get interesting and the math gets complicated but they could fall to a 6 seed.
The chances of PC playing Creighton or Butler in the first round are high.
The latest NCAA tournament projection has the Friars as a 10 seed, playing Wisconsin in the first round. PC was a 9 seed earlier in the week.
Points off Turnovers
Providence forced 12 Creighton turnovers and cashed in for 16 points on the offensive end. Two of those turnovers came by way of steals from Kyron Cartwright.
Providence only turned the ball over 7 times, allowing Creighton to score just 4 points.
This game was very much won on the free throw line and the Friars were able to get to the line and convert.
PC shot 22 of 29 from the free throw line, including 15 of 21 in the second half.
Creigton went 12 of 12 from the line in the game, shooting 6 free throws in each half.
In his final game at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, Kris Dunn netted 17 points on 5 of 12 shooting from the field and 6 of 6 from the free throw line.
Dunn also had 6 assists and 6 rebounds with only one turnover, and his health is much improved.
"I feel great, unbelievable. It was just one of those things you have to get over," Dunn said. After Saturday's DePaul game, Coach Cooley said that Dunn was playing at about 40%.
Prior to the game, Dunn was honored at center court as the Friars celebrated senior night.
"It was a special moment for my family and I. Providence, they made it a home for us, they made it very comfortable for us and just allowed me to be the person I wanted to be and wanted to become. Coach Cooley did an amazing job with me and my family, he's always been there for us and my teammates I mean, I have to thank them for getting this win for me and Junior [Lomomba]," added Dunn after the game.
Ben Bentil continued his monster season carrying the Friars with 27 points on 9 of 21 shooting from the field.
In one stretch in the second half with less than five minutes to go, Bentil scored 9 straight points for Providence securing the win.
Bentil also added in 10 rebounds for a double-double.
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