With both teams coming off tough road losses earlier this week, Saturday’s game between Seton Hall and Providence was set to be a matchup of desperation as each squad was looking to rebound. Willard and Cooley’s teams did not disappoint as the Friars would prevail in dramatic fashion, 65-61.
Seton Hall’s trio of Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, and Desi Rodriguez has been a matchup nightmare for teams all season long, and Saturday afternoon was no different. Delgado exposed Providence underneath and controlled the glass for the majority of this game going for 12 points and 16 rebounds, his 11th straight double-double. Rodriguez led the Pirates’ offensive charge with 20 points while Carrington would finish with 13 points and five assists.
Providence received some much needed production from Rodney Bullock. After his impressive start to the season, the junior forward has slowed down a bit to put it politely. Against a strong team like Seton Hall, Ed Cooley needed Bullock to return to early season form. He did just that today, putting up 22 points and five rebounds. Kyron Cartwright was effective per usual, going for 20 points and eight assists to lead the way for Providence.
The Pirates initially struggled against PC’s zone defense, going scoreless for almost five minutes. To be effective when facing a zone, your wings have to produce, and Seton Hall was getting no contributions from Carrington or Rodriguez during that span. The Friars took advantage of the stagnant play, and at one point led by 16. That didn’t last long however as Desi would eventually wake up to post eight points in the final two minutes of the half. What was a double digit lead quickly vanished as Seton Hall closed out the first frame on a swift 10-0 run.
The second half was a tightly contested, back and forth battle, as many Big East contests are. Seton Hall held the strong advantage on the boards, so the Friars in turn looked to their rim-running tendencies to counter. The Pirates fought back to eventually draw even at 57 with 2:13 remaining. The teams would exchange bucket for bucket from there, until Cartwright converted on a turn-around 3-point play with 32 seconds left to send the Dunkin’ Donuts Center crowd into a frenzy. Willard then ran a well designed play for freshman Myles Powell in the corner, but the guard’s 3-point attempt would rattle in and out.
As the second half went on, Providence was able to find their defensive intensity that led them throughout their nonconference schedule. Ideally, they can maintain that defensive mindset going forward as they face the daunting Big East schedule. Providence also received quality play from freshmen Alpha Diallo and Kalif Young who have progressed rapidly since the beginning of the season. PC’s coaching staff has to be pleased with their improvements.
Providence knows the road woes all to well, and Seton Hall is experiencing them as we speak. Their road won’t get any easier as they travel to Philly to face Villanova on Monday. The Friars now look towards Georgetown on Monday night.
I feel as though I’d be depriving you all if I didn’t include a clip of the highlight of the game. Much to the demise of Seton Hall fans, here’s your fix of Emmitt Holt.