Final Score: Providence 80, Seton Hall 74

Jim McIsaac

Cotton and Henton lead Friars to the Big East title game.

The Providence Friars defeated the Seton Hall Pirates at Madison Square Garden by a score of 80-74, advancing to the Big East Tournament finals for the first time since 1994, when they beat Georgetown. 

Seton Hall took the lead early in the game, but Providence quickly cameback and fended off Seton Hall's many attempts at regaining the lead.  Seton Hall even came within one point of Providence in the second half on a 3-pointer by Sterling Gibbs

Providence and Seton Hall had the same record against each other, which is 1-1 prior to this matchup in the semifinals. 

Providence played a solid game against the Seton Hall, out rebounding them 37 to 31 and possessed a field goal percentage of 49 percent in the game. The Friars had quality contributions from Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton, who notched double-doubles in the contest. Cotton scored 18 points and 10 assists. Henton scored 26 points and got 14 boards. 

Providence Coach Ed Cooley exagerated how much All-First Team Big East Star, Bryce Cotton means to their team. Cooley stated, "He's played every minutew G-d creted this year... He's averaged 120 minutes a game." Coach Cooley is very accurate, Bryce Cotton is a workhorse and has meant the world to this team. 

Fuquan Edwin and Patrik Auda led the force on the losing Seton Hall squad. Edwin scored 20 points and continued his great defense with a steal in the game. Auda had nine points and nine rebounds. 

This win for Providence, secured them a spot in the Big East Tournament finals and most likely an at large bid in March Madness, regardless of the outcome of the championship game. 

Providence will face the winner of the Creighton vs. Xavier semifinal game in the finals tomorrow. This will be the Friars third straight game in a row, and the effects of that will be seen soon.

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