Big East Tournament Final: Providence 65, Creighton 58

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Friars won't have to wait on Selection Sunday... their ticket to dance is already punched.

The Providence Friars defeated the Creighton Bluejays at Madison Square Garden by a score of 65-58, winning the Big East Tournament Championship and clinching an automatic bid into March Madness.

This was a showdown between an old Big East squad and a new Big East team. The Friars a team that came into this season with a high hopes of a great season, were held back a bit by issues regarding players and personnel. Instead the seniors on the team led them to victory.

Providence`s 2-3 defense gave Creighton a lot of struggles on offense. On the defensive front, the Friars were able to outscore Creighton in the first and second halves.

Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley spoke about playing zone aganst Creighton, "Everybody thought we were crazy to play zone, but because of Dougie, you have to have a man and a half around him."

Providence has only been to the Big East Tournament once before this game, when they beat Georgetown in 1994.

Providence played a solid game against Creighton, out rebounding them 32 to 29 and forcing the Bluejays to commit eight turnovers. The Friars had great contributions from Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton. Cotton scored 23 points and had five rebounds. Henton scored nine points and had 13 rebounds.

Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley expressed his admiration for Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton after the game, "I`m proud of LaDontae and how much he has grown as a man, not as a player...Bryce Cotton was superman in the second half."

Doug McDermott was the main man on Creightin scoring 27 points and notching five rebounds. The senior had the most points and rebounds out of any player on Creighton.

This was a very big upset and an emotional win for Providence. The Tournament victory earned them an automatic bid in March Madness.

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