The Providence Friars continued their winning ways at home with a 60-57 victory over the Georgetown Hoyas in overtime.
Offense was pretty much optional at The Dunk. Neither team shot particularly well, as the Friars and Hoyas combined for a field goal percentage of 34.2 percent. Interestingly enough, both teams took 57 attempts from the field. From the perimeter, it was perhaps even worse, as the two combined to shoot 7-for-32 in Providence on Saturday afternoon.
Standing out was a late bucket by Joshua Smith to send the game into the extra period. Kris Dunn was the star of the overtime period, scoring five points including a pair of free throws to keep PC ahead before the Hoyas' final possession went south. This added to a big day for Dunn, who had 16 points, nine assists, three rebounds and steals, and a block, to boot. LaDontae Henton led the team in points with 19 while Joshua Smith and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera were tied for the lead in points for Georgetown with 15 each.
Here's what we learned from this matchup.
1. The Georgetown freshmen are for real
The Georgetown freshmen are definitely playing beyond their years and it was made clear how bright the Hoyas future is with Paul White and L.J. Peak. White played at the prestigious Whitney Young High School in Chicago with Jahil Okafor and won a state championship together. It seems playing in one of the most competitive leagues in the country has really prepared Paul for playing in the Big East. Both L.J. and Paul have very good size for their position and will be a force in the conference for years to come. They silenced the Georgetown vs Providence freshman class debate for good and the Hoyas will definitely be the favorite when the Friars travel to D.C. It's one thing to hear about stud freshman on the Internet, but when you see players like Paul White and L.J. Peak it's really eye opening to see how physical and skilled two 19 year olds can be.
2. One play can truly make the difference
At around six minutes left the Friars where down seven, there was a lack of energy from the fans and players on the bench. After a Georgetown turnover, Kris Dunn drove up the lane and dished the ball to LaDontae Henton who had an electrifying dunk over D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and completely changed the momentum of the game. The Friars went on a 7-0 run to tie the game up and found a way to win the game in overtime. Not only was it an unbelievable play, but the the Dunkin' Dounts Center erupted and gave the Friars the extra push to send the game into overtime. If that play did not happen there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Friars would have lost the game and it's pretty cool that the home team's best player dunked on the away team's best player.
3. In the end, defense determines the outcome of the game
In the second half of the Butler game Ed Cooley sat Jalen Lindsey, Carson Derosiers, and Ben Bentil because of lack of effort. It seems like Ed lit a fire under those three players because defense is what won Providence the game. The Friars only made three outside shots the entire game and was one of the worst shooting performances I have ever seen. It was missed shot after missed shot but the Friars had their best defensive performance of the year and was highlighted by Kris Dunn's three steals and Carson Desrosiers four blocks. Defense is what allowed the Friars to win the game and the Friars strength and resilience to fight through adversity when shots weren't falling was extremely impressive.