The Providence Friars beat the Connecticut Huskies 72-70, closing out their season at the Dunk with a great comeback win over their biggest rival. Winning games in late February? IS THIS REAL LIFE? Thank you, Ed Cooley.
ESPN: Providence 72, UConn 70
Connecticut (17-12, 7-10 Big East) started the second half with an 11-1 run and eventually gained a 14-point lead.Cotton’s four 3-pointers led a Providence (15-15, 4-13) charge, giving the Friars a 63-55 advantage.The Huskies scored the next six points, but Friars freshman LaDontae Henton stopped their charge with two 3-pointers to create a 69-61 lead with 1 minute to go
Why the Friars Won: Despite getting repeatedly alley-ooped on by Andre Drummond in the first half and missing pretty much from everywhere, Providence kept it close on a late run over the last minute to take only a two point deficit into halftime. This was huge, because UConn came out swinging in the 2nd half to build that 14 point lead. In the 2nd half comeback, the Friars got hot shooting from Ice Cotton, the defense picked up some key steals, and the team showed toughness with great offensive rebounding. This was all done without the player having the best game (LaDontae Henton) out on the court, who had to sit big minutes with foul trouble. With the Huskies climbing back in the final few minutes, Buckets came off the bench and drilled two huge threes to give PC the cushion they would need.
Turning Point: The Andre Drummond technical was pretty key (he elbowed Bilal Dixon, but the ref T’d him for softly tossing the ball back to the ref, hey that’s fine by me), but the Friars had already roared back and taken the lead. The three Ice Cotton three-balls in the span of two minutes was biggest sequence. The first one came after a badly missed three on the other end of the court by Niels Giffey. The Huskies were already up 11, so the Cotton make coming back was a huge 6 point swing.
Play of the Game: With PC up 5 with 2 minutes left, the Friars almost ran out of shot clock with the ball going out of bands. With one second remaining, they in-bounded it to Buckets, and he somehow was able to get off a shot and hit his 2nd consecutive three. ONIONS.
Let’s Dish out some Pasta
Ice Cotton – Are we entirely convinced we want him being just a role bench player next season?
LaDontae Henton – People must constantly tear up when they are around Buckets, because he has huge ONIONS.
Ed Cooley – Had some ONIONS himself, opting to foul UConn with a three point lead in the last possession. He trusted the Friars rebounding, and they came away with the W after Coleman hung on to the missed FT.
Kadeem Batts – Huge night defensively and on the offensive glass. Showed great toughness too on that one jump ball play where he tried to wrastle the ball away from a Husky.
Gerard Coleman -Had a few of those “No no no no…YES Gerard!!” drives, but also had a great rebounding night. 7 pounds lighter, and still pulling down boards.
Vincent Council – Didn’t have a great shooting night, but his speed and vision helped fuel the comeback.
Andre Drummond – Yeah he had a double-double and all, but after PC put a stop to his alley-ooping, he didn’t do much offensively. He did all this in front of his buddy Kris Dunn who was in attendance. Too bad Dunn won’t be able to beat him himself next year. Enjoy the NBA, you big freak.
Bilal Dixon – Had a chance to ice the game at the line, which would have been his last points at the Dunk. Oof.
Shabazz Napier – More like, Shabad Napier. Am I right, or am I right?
Jeremy Lamb – I make lamb.