#24 Providence Happy with Regular Season Sweep of Villanova

The No. 24/21 Providence College men’s basketball defeated the Villanova Wildcats (13-14, 7-9 BIG EAST), 85-72, on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, R.I. The Friars improved to 20-7 on the season and 12-4 in BIG EAST play. The team also moved to 15-0 on the season. The Friars swept the season series versus Villanova for the first time since 2013. It marks the seventh time in Ed Cooley’s 12 seasons as the coach of the Friars that the team has earned 20 or more wins. It also is the 29th time in 96 seasons the Friars have earned 20 or more victories.

“We showed a lot of emotional maturity today,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “Our group continues to improve and improve. We did a great job moving the ball and made some timely threes.”

Redshirt senior Ed Croswell (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the way for the Friars with a game-high 21 points along with 10 rebounds. Croswell eclipsed 1,000 career points in tonight’s game. Sophomore Bryce Hopkins (Oak Park, Ill.) finished with a double-double, 19 points and a game-high 12 boards. Hopkins became the first Friar to earn 10 double-doubles in a season since Alpha Diallo ’19 (10) in the 2018-19 season.


Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) took the ball to the rim on the Friars’ first possession and finished a contested layup. The Friars led 7-4 at the first media timeout (15:56 mark).
The Friars went on an early 13-3 run. With 13:37 left in the half, Hopkins finished through contact, drew the foul and completed the three-point play to cap off the run. PC led 17-7.
The Friars had a hot offensive start, shooting 8-11 from the field. Villanova started off cold, shooting 5-15.
Hopkins drained a second-chance three-ball at the 9:22 mark. Villanova’s Chris Arcidiacono answered with his own triple on the next possession. PC led 24-15.
At the 7:15 mark, Devin Carter (Miami, Fla.) picked off a Villanova pass and slammed it home on the other end. PC led 28-15.
The Friars held a 10-point advantage, 32-22, with four minutes remaining until halftime.
In the closing stretch of the half, the Wildcats went on an 8-0 run, holding the Friars scoreless for over three minutes.
Hopkins was the first player to notch double figures in the game.
PC led by five at the half, 36-31.
Providence shot 13-24 (54.2%) from the field, 2-7 (28.6%) from three and 8-10 (80.0%) from the free throw line.
Villanova shot 12-28 (42.9%) from the field, 3-11 (27.3%) from three and 4-4 (100%) from the free throw line.

The Wildcats outscored the Friars 9-3 to start the second half. Villanova gained their first lead of the game, 40-39. Locke quickly answered for the Friars with back-to-back baskets.
With 14 minutes left, Carter found an open lane to the rim and threw down a one-handed dunk, capping off a 7-0 run. PC led 49-41.
At the 11:04 mark, Croswell finished through contact and completed an and-one opportunity.
Villanova hit a cold streak, missing nine of their last 10 attempts. In the meantime, the Friars extended their lead.
Bynum and Hopkins knocked down threes on back-to-back possessions. PC’s lead returned to double digits, 60-49.
The Wildcats finished off on a 12-3 run with less than five minutes remaining. PC’s lead dwindled to 63-61.
With three minutes left, Locke drained a deep three-pointer from the right wing. The Friars’ lead increased to seven.
The Friars led 76-69 with one minute left, and maintained their lead through the final buzzer.

Providence finished 27-48 (56.3%) from the field, 7-18 (38.9%) from three and 24-32 (75.0%) from the free throw line.
Villanova finished 24-60 (40.0%) from the field, 8-29 (27.6%) from three and 16-18 (88.9%) from the free throw line.
Four players finished in double figures for the Friars: Croswell (21), Hopkins (19), Locke (16) and Carter (12).
The Friars out-rebounded the Wildcats by a margin of 36-29. The Friars had eight more fastbreak points and eight more points in the paint.
Eric Dixon and Justin Moore led the way for the Wildcats with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Attendance: 12,659

The Friars swept the season series versus Villanova for the first time since 2013.
Hopkins became the first Friar to earn 10 double-doubles in a season since Alpha Diallo ’19 (10) in the 2018-19 season.
The Friars recorded 20 or more wins in seven of Cooley’s 12 seasons at Providence.
The Friars have recorded 12 or more BIG EAST wins in three of Cooley’s 12 seasons at Providence.
The Friars are 15-0 at home this season, 36-1 in their last 37 games at the AMP and 619-236 (.724) all-time.
The Friars are 8-0 in BIG EAST home games for the first time in program history.
The Friars are ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and No. 21 in the Coaches Poll. It is the team’s sixth week in the polls.
The Friars have played Villanova the fourth-most times of any opponent in program history (113).

The Friars will travel to Storrs, Conn. to take on the No. 20/23 UConn Huskies (19-7, 9-7 BIG EAST) on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. The game will be televised on FS1.
UConn holds a 45-31 all-time advantage over the Friars. Earlier this season, the Friars earned a 73-61 home victory over then-No. 4/5 UConn on Jan. 4. It marked the Friars’ first victory over a top-5 team since Mar. 9, 2018.

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