Providence is looking for its second-consecutive start of six straight wins today when they host the Ivy Leaguers from Yale today at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Here's a 3-point preview of today's game.
Providence Produces Scorers
Next man up. The Friars seem to have embodied that motto under head coach Ed Cooley. Each year they lose their leading scorer, and someone steps up and becomes just as lethal as the last shooter. Providence has produced a 19 point per game scorer in four of the last five years. From Jamine Peterson to MarShon Brooks, to Bryce Cotton and now LaDontae Henton.
Henton has put up 20 points in all but one game this season and has led the Friars to a 5-0 start. He is coming off a 38-point performance versus Notre Dame, missing just one shot inside the arc in the process. The senior looks to continue his dominance against Yale.
The Bulldogs have rattled off five straight wins behind their two leading scorers from a season ago. Junior forward Justin Sears anchors down the frontcourt while senior guard Javier Duren orchestrates the offense from the point.
At 6-foot-8, Sears is the tallest Bulldog starter. Not only is he the team's leading scorer with 17 points per game, but he's also their leading rebounder with 9.4 boards a game. Sears has scored double figures in all but one game this season and already has two double-doubles. Sears has proven he can play against the big boys; he scorched the eventual National Champion UConn Huskies last season for 17 points and 10 rebounds, albeit in an 80-62 defeat.
Duren is one of three seniors in Yale's starting lineup. He may be the team's second leading scorer with 14.4 points per game, but his worth is far greater than his scoring output. The 6-foot-4 guard is the Bulldogs' leading assist man with 3.4 assists per game, leader in takeaways with 1.8 steals per game, and Yale's third-leading rebounder with 5.4 rebounds per game. Both Sears and Duren will have to lead the way if Yale has any hope of upsetting Providence.
Ivy League v. Providence
Providence is 16-2 in the last decade versus Ivy League schools, with its only two losses coming to Brown. The Friars may have beaten Yale four times in that span, but do not be mistaken, the Bulldogs have not made it easy. Yale lost by a combined five points their last two meetings.
Last year's matchup was a true fight. Providence jumped out to a 15-point lead, but Yale went on a 22-7 run to end the first half knotted up at 35. The Bulldogs led briefly in the second half, and only trailed by a basket in the final minute. Yale ultimately fell 76-74, but it was the play of Justin Sears that kept the Bulldogs fighting. He led all scorers with 31 points on 13-of-16 shooting. With a little help, Sears and the Bulldogs could be the first Ivy League team aside from Brown to defeat Providence in a decade.