#24 Providence Knocks Off #18 Creighton in Double Overtime
The No. 24/21 Providence College men’s basketball team defeated the No. 18/19 Creighton Bluejays (17-9, 11-4 BIG EAST), 94-86, in double overtime on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence, R.I. The Friars improved to 19-7 on the season and 11-4 in BIG EAST play. PC also is 2-1 in overtime games this season with both wins coming at home in double overtime.
“That was one of the best college basketball games this season,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “With double overtime and two ranked teams, it was a very competitive game. This is becoming one of the hardest buildings in the country to play in.”
Sophomore Devin Carter (Miami, Fla.) led the way for the Friars with a career-high 25 points along with eight boards. Sophomore Bryce Hopkins (Oak Park, Ill.) and graduate student Noah Locke (Miami, Fla.) each contributed 20 points. Hopkins had a team-high nine boards.
“Over the course of the game, we had quality shots, great ball control, and you can see how much more comfortable our team was today,” Cooley said. “Our attention to detail was spot on.”
Croswell slammed it home on the Friars’ first possession.
With just under 17 minutes left in the half, Carter nailed a three-pointer to give the Friars an early advantage.
The Bluejays responded with a quick 7-0 run to take the lead, 13-7, before the first media timeout.
At the 13:50 mark, Carter tied the game at 14 with his second three-ball. He was the first player to notch double figures in the game.
The lead changed hands several times as the first half progressed, with each team finding success on offense.
With eight minutes remaining until halftime, Creighton held a slim 25-22 lead. The Bluejays had made three of their last four attempts from the field.
Hopkins drained a left wing three-pointer to cap off a 7-0 Friars run. The Friars pulled ahead, 29-25.
Creighton led by one at halftime, 37-36. The Friars missed their final five shots of the half.
Providence shot 13-31 (41.9%) from the field, 3-9 (33.3%) from three and 7-8 (87.5%) from the free throw line.
Creighton shot 15-29 (51.7%) from the field, 3-7 (42.9%) from three and 4-5 (80.0%) from the free throw line.
There were five lead changes ahead of the first media timeout of the half (15:42 mark). PC led 45-44.
After the Friars gained a four-point advantage, Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma scored on three consecutive possessions to give the Bluejays the lead.
At the 12:18 mark, Jayden Pierre (Elizabeth, N.J.) knocked down a timely three-pointer to tie the game at 53.
With less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard and PC’s Locke traded three-pointers. The game was knotted at 65.
At the 5:22 mark, Carter picked off a Creighton pass and went coast-to-coast for a reverse layup in transition. PC took a 69-67 lead heading into the final minutes.
The Friars held the Bluejays scoreless for over three minutes. With less than three minutes left, the Bluejays ended the drought with two buckets to tie the game again.
With 1:02 remaining in regulation, Hopkins tied the game at 73 with a contested inside basket.
Creighton’s Kaluma missed the potential game-winner in the final seconds.
Providence shot 15-32 (46.9%) from the field, 4-6 (66.7%) from three and 3-4 (75.0%) from the free throw line.
Creighton shot 15-28 (53.6%) from the field, 4-13 (30.8%) from three and 2-2 (100%) from the free throw line.
Carter took the first overtime tip for a wide-open dunk.
Nembhard continued to be the catalyst for the Bluejays into overtime.
At the 2:52 mark, Hopkins buried a three-pointer to give the Friars a four-point advantage. The Bluejays tied the game at 82 with 1:20 left in the first overtime.
The Friars took a timeout with 0:16 remaining in the first overtime, with the game level at 84.
Each team came up short on their final possessions of overtime. Carter rejected Nembhard’s driving layup attempt in the final second of the first overtime.
Providence shot 3-7 (42.9%) from the field, 1-1 (100%) from three and 4-4 (100%) from the free throw line.
Creighton shot 3-5 (60.0%) from the field and 5-5 (100%) from the free throw line. The Bluejays did not attempt a three.
The Friars gained a five-point advantage in the second overtime period, holding Creighton scoreless for over five minutes elapsed between the two overtimes.
Carter extended the lead to eight from the free throw line with 0:39 left. Creighton still had not scored in the second overtime.
At the 0:09 mark, Hopkins took an inbounds pass coast-to-coast for an emphatic slam.
The Friars held the Bluejays without a field goal in double OT.
Providence finished 34-76 (44.7%) from the field, 8-19 (42.1%) from three and 18-21 (85.7%) from the free throw line.
Creighton finished 33-69 (47.8%) from the field, 7-24 (29.2%) from three and 13-15 (86.7%) from the free throw line.
Four players finished in double figures for the Friars: Carter (25), Hopkins (20), Locke (20) and Croswell (14).
Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) had a game-high six assists.
Hopkins played all 50 minutes in the game.
Neither team gained more than a four-point advantage in the second half and first overtime period.
There were 20 lead changes and 17 ties in tonight’s game.
The Friars controlled the rebound battle by a margin of 39-37. The Friars also dished two more assists (14-12) and had seven less turnovers (7-14).
Ryan Nembhard led the way for the Bluejays with a double-double, 21 points and 10 boards.
There have been three overtime BIG EAST league games this season and the Friars have played in all three.
The Friars are 14-0 at home this season, 35-1 in their last 36 games at the AMP and 618-236 (.723) all-time.
The Friars are 7-0 in BIG EAST home games this season with wins over Creighton, Georgetown, Marquette, UConn, St. John’s, DePaul and Butler.
The Friars are 3-2 this season versus top-25 teams.
Tonight marked the second double overtime game of the season for the Friars (103-98 victory over Marquette on Dec. 20, 2022).
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 recorded 11 or more BIG EAST wins in four of Cooley’s 12 seasons at Providence.
Hopkins is a candidate for the Naismith Men’s College POY, the Oscar Robertson Award and the Karl Malone Award.
The Friars will take on the Villanova Wildcats (13-13, 7-8 BIG EAST) in the Black Fives Game on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Amica Mutual Pavilion. The game will be televised on FOX.
Villanova holds a 70-42 all-time advantage over the Friars. Earlier this season, the Friars defeated the Wildcats, 70-65, on Jan. 29 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.