PC Knocks Off #24 Marquette In 2OT Christmas Classic
BY JIMMY GOLEN
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — After playing more than 47 minutes — including every second of both overtimes — Bryce Hopkins wanted the last rebound the most of all.
The Providence big man grabbed his 23rd rebound of the game after a missed Friars free throw with 15 seconds left in the second OT to help run out the clock and beat No. 24 Marquette 103-98 on Tuesday night.
“I just try to go get the ball,” Hopkins said. “That last rebound, it was pretty much just wanting to get the ball. I wanted the game to be over with, obviously.”
Hopkins scored 29 points to give the Friars (10-3, 2-0 Big East) their first 20-20 game since 2010 and just their third in nearly 50 years. The points, rebounds — and minutes — were all career highs.
“We tell our guys to play violent. He was violent tonight,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said of Hopkins. “He put his head down and drove. He was basically saying ‘Something’s going to happen.’”
Devin Carter and Ed Croswell scored 20 points apiece for Providence, which won its fourth straight game and improved to 4-0 in overtime this season. It’s the fourth straight season the Friars have beaten a ranked team.
“The quality and depth of the Big East was on display tonight,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “We’re pretty good in this building. We’re pretty damn good.”
Native Rhode Islander Tyler Kolek scored a career-high 29 points before fouling out in the second OT. Kam Jones added 24 points for the Golden Eagles (9-4, 1-1), who entered the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since last season.
Marquette blew a nine-point lead in the final minutes of regulation and rallied from an eight-point deficit in the first overtime. David Joplin hit a corner 3-pointer to give the Golden Eagles a 96-93 lead with just over two minutes left in the second OT, but Alyn Breed did the same at the other end to tie it.
It was 98-98 when Hopkins hit two free throws — he was 13 for 18 from the line — and then Joplin missed and Breed rebounded it. Croswell was fouled with 17 seconds left; he made the first free throw, and Hopkins got the rebound of the second.
Breed was fouled and made both free throws to clinch it. He finished with 13 points.
Kolek, a native of nearby Cumberland who played a year at George Mason before transferring, choked up when asked about coming home to play. His father was in the back of the room, he noted.
“It gets me emotional, all my family,” he said. “My people that were here for me and here for Marquette were supportive. But those Providence fans, you guys know …”
END OF REGULATION
The Friars trailed 76-68 late in the second half before scoring the next 10 points to take a two-point lead. Joplin tied it with 39 seconds left, and Providence had two chances to win it in regulation.
Jared Bynum missed an open look at a 3-pointer; he got his own long rebound and drove to the basket, but lost the ball on the way. That left Marquette with 4.6 seconds and a chance to win it in regulation, but Sean Jones’ rushed 3-pointer was off the front of the rim.
END OF FIRST OT
The Friars opened 88-80 lead in the first overtime before Kolek scored seven straight points and then, after Hopkins made one free throw, Kolek tied it 89-all with 5.8 seconds left. Providence made a full-court dash and got the ball inside to Carter but he missed a layup in traffic at the first overtime buzzer.
The Golden Eagles followed an overtime loss to Wisconsin with three straight wins to poke their way into the AP Top 25. They have now been ranked in both of Smart’s seasons, but this stay could be short.
Fans were given wristbands that light up in sync, but late in the second half a group in the upper stands began throwing them around. The hijinks continued until an announcement over the loud speaker told them to stop.
Marquette: Hosts Seton Hall next Tuesday.
Providence: Visits Butler on Dec. 29.