#20 Providence Falters in Second Half at #18 UConn
The No. 20/18 Providence College men’s basketball team falls to No. 18/23 UConn (21-7, 10-7 BIG EAST), 87-69, on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. The Friars fell to 20-8 overall and 12-5 in BIG EAST play. Sophomore Bryce Hopkins (Oak Park, Ill.) led with Friars with a team-high 16 points. Graduate Student Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) and graduate student Noah Locke (Baltimore, Md.) added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Hopkins converted a layup and a mid-range jumper to net the Friars first four points. PC trailed 7-6 at the first media timeout.
UConn went on a 9-2 run and held Providence scoreless for over four minutes before a Devin Carter (Miami, Fla.) floater ended the drought.
At the 11:47 mark, Clifton Moore (Ambler, Pa.) knocked down the first three-pointer of the night for the Friars and narrowed the UConn lead to 13-11 at the second media timeout.
More than halfway through the half, Bynum nailed back-to-back three-pointers to give PC a 20-18 advantage at the third media timeout.
After a quick UConn 9-0 spurt, Bynum calmed the storm with another three-ball to cut the PC deficit to 27-25 going to the final media timeout of the half.
The Huskies outscored the Friars, 5-0 in the final minute of first half action.
UConn led 37-32 at halftime.
Bynum was the only player to reach double digits (12 points) before half after going 4-4 from three-point territory.
Providence shot 13-33 (43.3%) from the field, 6-14 (42.9%) from three and did not attempt a free throw.
Connecticut shot 16-28 (57.1%) from the field, 5-10 (50.0%) from three and did not attempt a free throw.
Following two quick buckets from UConn, Bynum got the Friars on the board in the second half with a reverse layup.
Ed Croswell (Philadelphia, Pa.) converted a layup plus the foul to hit the first free throw of the game for PC.
Providence manufactured a 7-0 run powered by a pair of free throws from Croswell, a left wing three-pointer from Locke and a steal and slam by Carter.
Providence chipped away at the UConn lead to cut it to 48-46 at the first media timeout.
Providence went a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line, but UConn led 58-52 at the second media timeout.
The Huskies produced an 18-2 run to fuel their largest lead of 19 points (73-54) while holding Providence without a field goal for 9:16 of the contest.
At the 4:23 mark, Hopkins hit a three-pointer. UConn took a commanding 77-61 margin at the final media timeout.
Providence finished 22-53 (41.5%) from the field, 8-20 (40.0%) from three and 17-20 (85.0%) from the free throw line.
Connecticut finished 32-60 (53.3%) from the field, 10-21 (47.6%) from three and 13-14 (92.9%) from the free throw line.
Three players finished in double figures for the Friars, in Hopkins (16), Bynum (14), and Locke (11)
The Huskies doubled up the Friars on the boards, 40-20.
UConn outscored PC in the paint, 42-24.
The Huskies dished out 11 more assists (20-9) and outscored the Friars 14-6 on the fast break.
The Friars are now in a three-way tie with Creighton and Xavier for second place in the BIG EAST standings.
It was announced on February 20 that sophomore Hopkins was named BIG EAST Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 ppg and 10.5 rpg.
The Friars are ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll and No. 18 in the Coaches Poll. It is the team’s seventh week in the polls.
PC is 8-0 in BIG EAST home games this season – it marks the first time ever the team has been 8-0.
Providence will visit Georgetown on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on FOX.
Providence trails the all time series, 33-47. Earlier this season, the Friars earned a, 74-62, home victory over the Hoyas.