Strong Start Propels PC Past Georgetown In BIG EAST Opener
Providence College Press Release
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence College men’s basketball team defeated the Georgetown Hoyas, 76-60, on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. in the BIG EAST opener for both teams. Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) led the way for the Friars with a game-high 20 points. He also pulled down eight rebounds and recorded four steals.
“We’re just trying to just take care of the moment,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “We don’t care about the margin of victory. We’re just trying to move on to the next game and be the best possible Providence team we can be. We came out with a lot of energy in the first half and it dictated the pace for the game.”
Diallo opened the game with a quick jumper on the wing. Luwane Pipkins (Chicago, Ill.) and Diallo added three-pointers on the following possessions to give the Friars an early lead. Georgetown called the first timeout of the game after 3:17 minutes of play. The Friars held the lead 10-0.
The Friars held Georgetown scoreless for the first 6:22 minutes of the game. The Hoyas got on the board with two made free throws followed by a quick hook shot in the paint. Shortly after, three-pointers by David Duke (Providence, R.I.) and Pipkins extended the Friar lead to 16 with just over 11 minutes left.
Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) contributed with two back-to-back field goals in the paint with just under nine minutes to play in the half. The Friars led 28-8. Diallo added a two-handed dunk to force another timeout by the Hoyas.
The Friars continued their hot three-point shooting on two consecutive possessions following the timeout. Emmitt Holt (Rochester, N.Y.) added his first three of the game and Diallo chipped in with his second. Georgetown made their first three of the evening with 4:41 on the clock. The Friars responded with a three ball of their own made by Maliek White (Richmond, Va.). The score was 41-15.
“We started out great,” said Emmitt Holt. “We came out with the right mindset and we were determined to do whatever it takes to win.”
A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) got hot in the final two minutes of the half, contributing three field goals from beyond the arc. He finished in double-figures, with 13 points in the game.
“A.J. [Reeves] is going to be vital to our success this year,” Cooley said. “We try to get him as many shots as we can when he’s in that rhythm and groove.”
The teams headed into halftime with a 54-23 Friar lead. Providence shot 20-31(64.5%) from the field, 10-18 (55.6%) from three, and 4-5 (80.0%) from the free throw line. Georgetown shot 7-25 (28.0%) from the field, 1-5 (20.0%) from three, and 8-9 (88.9%) from the free throw line. The Friars’ largest lead in the first half was 33 points.
Holt opened up the second half with a layup down low to extend the score to 56-23. He finished with seven points in the game. The Hoyas came out of the locker room hot, making four three-point baskets in the opening four minutes giving them a 14-2 run. They reduced their deficit to 20 points.
Though, as the second half progressed, both teams got cold. The Hoyas had made only two of their 10 shots at the 11:34 mark. Meanwhile, the Friars had a scoring drought that lasted nearly three minutes. The score was 65-49 with Providence in the lead with ten minutes left.
With under seven minutes left, the Friars began to slow their pace down. Pipkins added a mid-range jumper with 5:23 left, adding on to his 14-point outing. Providence held off the Hoyas’ second half effort to secure the win.
The Friars finished with four players in double-figures and seven players in the scoring column. Duke contributed 10 points, six rebounds, and eight assists in the game. Watson added eight points as well.
Providence finished 28-52 (53.8%) from the field, 10-25 (40.0%) from three, and 10-13 (76.9%) from the free throw line. Georgetown finished 21-57 (36.8%) from the field, 7-19 (36.8%) from three, and 11-12 (91.7%) from the free throw line. Omer Yurtseven led the Hoyas with a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In the next game, the Friars head on the road to take on the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday, January 4. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m. ET on FS1.