PC Holds Off South Dakota State In NCAA Tournament First Round
Providence College Press Release
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The No. 13/13 and No. 4-seed Providence College men’s basketball team (26-5, 14-3 BIG EAST) defeated the No. 13-seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits (30-5, 18-0 Summit League), 66-57, on Thursday, March 17 in the First Round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Graduate students Al Durham (Lilburn, Ga.) and Noah Horchler (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) led the way for the Friars with 13 points each. Durham also contributed eight rebounds and a game-high six assists. Senior Ed Croswell (Philadelphia, Pa.) added nine rebounds, including six offensive boards.
“This was a major challenge,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “This is the most connected group I’ve been around in 28 years of coaching, and I think we responded every single time after a loss. We responded with a win, and I thought the response was great. This team has an ‘it’ factor.”
With the win, the Friars advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. Providence will play on Saturday, March 19 against the winner of the No. 5-seed Iowa vs. No. 12-seed Richmond.
- Durham and South Dakota State’s Baylor Scheierman traded three-pointers to open the game.
- Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) scored the next two baskets for the Friars. PC held an early 7-3 lead. The Jackrabbits quickly responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead.
- At the 11:12 mark, the game’s first timeout, the Friars trailed by two points, 17-15.
- Midway through the half, each team endured a scoring drought. At the 9:47 mark, Ed Croswell (Philadelphia, Pa.) ended the Friars’ cold streak with a second-chance layup.
- The Jackrabbits continued to struggle on offense, scoring only two points in a six-minute stretch. Meanwhile, the Friars found a rhythm on both ends of the floor.
- With five minutes to play in the half, the Friars led by five, 24-19.
- The Friars finished the half on a 7-0 scoring run and led 31-23 at the break.
- Durham was the biggest contributor for the Friars, recording nine points, five rebounds, and three assists in the first half.
- The Friars held the Jackrabbits scoreless in the final three minutes of the half. South Dakota State missed seven of their last eight shots before heading into the locker room.
- Providence shot 13-32 (40.6%) from the field and 5-13 (38.5%) from three. The Friars did not attempt a free throw.
- South Dakota State shot 10-27 (37.0%) from the field, 2-8 (25.0%) from three, and 1-2 (50.0%) from the free throw line.
- Similar to the first half, the teams began the second by trading three-pointers. Baylor Scheierman scored for the Jackrabbits and A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) answered for the Friars.
- At the 16:22 mark, Minaya elevated above the defender and knocked down a contested jumper. The Friars gained their first double-digit lead of the game.
- On the next possession, Horchler added a three-ball. PC led 43-29. With the Friars seizing control of the game, South Dakota State used a timeout.
- Following the timeout, the Jackrabbits found a spark on offense, scoring eight unanswered points to cut the deficit to six (43-37).
- With 8:20 remaining, Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) buried a long-range three-pointer. It marked the Friars’ first made shot in seven attempts. PC led 50-39.
- The Friars held a nine-point advantage, 56-47, heading into the final four minutes of regulation.
- The Jackrabbits made a late push, narrowing the gap to three points, with 2:36 remaining. On the ensuing possession, Durham extended the Friars’ lead from the free throw line. PC led 58-53.
- At the 1:08 mark, Bynum beat the defender and nailed a mid-range jumper. On the other end, Scheierman finished a contested layup for the Jackrabbits. PC led 60-57.
- Bynum drew a pivotal foul on a three-point attempt with 0:29 remaining. He made all three free throws to seal the win for the Friars.
- Providence finished 24-61 (39.3%) from the field, 8-22 (36.4%) from three, and 10-12 (83.3%) from the free throw line.
- South Dakota State finished 22-57 (38.6%) from the field, 7-23 (30.4%) from three, and 6-9 (66.7%) from the free throw line.
- The Friars improved to 26-5 overall. It marks the most victories for Providence since 1973-74 (28-4).
- The Friars earned their first NCAA Tournament win since 2016.
- The 57 points scored by the Jackrabbits are the fewest the Friars have allowed in an NCAA Tournament game all-time.
- Providence dealt South Dakota State its first loss since Dec. 15, snapping a 21-game winning streak.
- The Jackrabbits entered the tournament as the top three-point shooting team in the nation (.449) and also had the second-best field goal percentage among NCAA Division I programs (.525).
- The Friars’ defense held the South Dakota State to 29.7 points below its season average (86.7 ppg). The Jackrabbits are ranked second in the nation in scoring offense.
- The Friars out-rebounded the Jackrabbits by a margin of 41-32.
- Scheierman led the way for the Jackrabbits with a double-double, 18 points and 10 rebounds (both game-highs).
- The Friars and Jackrabbits met for the first time in the history of the two men’s basketball programs.
- The Friars entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed, which is the highest seed in program history.
- The Friars are making their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2018.
- The Friars are 16-21 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with two trips to the Final Four (1973 and 1987).
- Cooley has led the Friars to six NCAA Tournaments in 11 years, which is more than any other coach at PC.
- Prior to today’s game, Watson was the only Friar to play in the NCAA Tournament (2018 vs. Texas A&M).
- The Friars won 14 games in BIG EAST play for the first time ever in 2022.
- In their win over Creighton on February 26, the Friars won the BIG EAST regular season title for the first time ever.
- The Friars have been ranked for 13-consecutive weeks after entering the polls on December 20, 2021.
- The No. 4-seed Friars will face the winner of the No. 5/12-seed game in the Midwest Region (Iowa/Richmond) in the Second Round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The game is set for Saturday, March 19 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Game time and television/broadcast information has not yet been released.