As sophomore Ben Bentil approached the free throw line with Providence holding a two-point lead, the confidence and the swagger that was consistent throughout his 26-point performance was exhibited as he sunk the two game-clinching free throws. His dominance, along with Kris Dunn's marvelous offensive and defensive showing, were the key for the Friars in a 73-69 victory over the Georgetown Hoyas.
The Hoyas, who trailed by nine with around two minutes remaining, almost completed back-to-back massive comebacks following a shocking victory over Creighton. Yet, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 18 points and four assists were not enough for the Hoyas at home. They missed out on yet another quality win and hurt their NCAA tournament chances once again.
Here are three things we learned:
Bentil and Dunn shined, but Providence's struggles remain
It is no secret how talented Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil are. Tonight, it was no different. Connecting on 52 of Providence's 73 points, the Providence's two stars were dominant once again. It is no secret that the Friars' offense revolves around the two, as both Dunn and Bentil average more than 16 points per game. Tonight, with only one other person scoring more than seven points, the two were needed more than ever to defeat Georgetown on the road 73-69.
As talented and dominant as these two may be, their prowess may also be Providence's weakness. The Friars just simply do not have many other options on offense. Kyron Cartwright is extremely quick off the ball, but he struggles with his outside jumper, making only 11 3-pointers on the year.
Junior Lomomba and Rodney Bullock are both erratic shooters who struggle to create their own shot. If Providence wishes to continue to keep pace with Xavier and Villanova, one of the aforementioned must start aiding Dunn and Bentil in proving a trigger for the Friar offense.
L.J Peak continues to perform off the bench
A mainstay in the starting lineup during nonconference play, Georgetown coach, John Thompson III, looked to make a change to jumpstart their offense.
His decision to move sophomore L.J Peak to the bench may looks to have been the right move. Georgetown's 6-3 start to conference play and Peak's improved play seem to be the direct results of Thompson's decision. In tonight's game, Peak stifled Providence's defense en route to 17 points off the bench.
Presuming that he can continue to play in this form, Georgetown may be able to sneak their way into the NCAA tournament.
Both teams were overtly careless on offense
To say turnovers were prevalent would be an understatement. Both teams combined for a total of 34 turnovers, with each losing 17 possessions. Bullock lead the way with six of his own for the Friars, while seniors D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Bradley Hayes both accumulated four.
Even though it was a struggle for both to maintain their prudence on the offensive end, Providence maintained a 45.5 percent mark from 3-point land. For two teams higher in the Big East standings, this seems like a bit of an anomaly.