Shooting Woes Hurt Providence in First Big East Loss
The Providence College men’s basketball team lost to the Butler Bulldogs, 70-64, on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Friars record fell to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in BIG EAST play.
David Duke (Providence, R.I.) got the Friars their first bucket of the game after 2:34 minutes of play. Nate Watson (Portsmourth, Va.) contributed with back-to-back points in the paint. At the first media timeout, Butler led 7-6.
After four missed shots in one possession by the Friars, Ed Croswell (Philadelphia, Pa.) converted on a three-point play down low. With 12:31 on the clock, Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) made Providence’s first bucket from beyond the arc. Butler called a timeout as the Friars led 15-11. Both teams struggled offensively over the next three minutes of play. Butler ended their drought after 4:18 minutes. The Friars held a six point lead with 7: 56 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs got some momentum and both teams traded baskets in the final minutes of the half. Kris Monroe (Raleigh, N.C.) contributed with a three ball and Duke with a baseline jumper. Providence held the lead 30-28 with 27 seconds on the clock. Butler held the final possession and knocked down a three to take back the lead.
Butler led at halftime, 31-30. Providence shot 12-33 (36.4%) from the field, 2-13 (15.4%) from three, and 4-4 (100%) from the free throw line. The Bulldogs shot 13-30 (43.3%) from the field, 2-10 (20%) from three, and 3-8 (37.5%) from the free throw line.
At the 18:55 mark, Bynum scored the first Providence basket of the second half. After a hot start by Butler, they went scoreless for three minutes. The Friars went on a 7-0 run, led by two fast break dunks from A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) and Greg Gantt (Fayetteville, N.C.). Butler led 46-41 going into the 12 minute media timeout.
With 10:41 on the clock, Jimmy Nichols, Jr. (Conway, S.C.) made consecutive baskets for the Friars. He ended with eight points and four rebounds. Butler led by nine points with just under 10 minutes to go. Watson scored a quick five points to bring the Friars back within reach. The score was 54-50 with 8:47 left in regulation. Duke and Watson contributed for the Friars in the remaining minutes of the game but Butler continued to control.
Providence finished 26-63 (41.3%) from the field, 4-26 (15.4%) from three, and 8-10 (80%) from the free throw line. Butler finished 26-57 (45.6%) from the field, 5-17 (29.4%) from three, and 13-23 (56.5%) from the free throw line. JaKobe Coles led the way for the Bulldogs with 14 points.
The Friars had two players finish in double-figures, in Duke and Watson. Watson led the team in scoring with 19 points and added four rebounds. Duke finished with 17 points, eight boards and five assists.
Up next, Providence will play DePaul University on Sunday, December 27 in Providence, R.I. at Alumni Hall. The game is set for tip-off at 4:30 p.m. on FS1.