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Providence beats Boston College in OT thriller, 100-95

The Friars and Eagles renewed their New England rivalry on Tuesday night at Boston College, and it quickly turned into a classic.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

CHESTNUT HILL - The Providence Friars and Boston College Eagles met on Tuesday night in Chestnut Hill for their 112th all time meeting. The teams have played home/home for the last 12 years, splitting the dozen matchups at 6 apiece, but this time it was the Friars who would come away with the win in an OT classic.

Providence freshman guard David Duke received the start against Eagles star Ky Bowman, and did a nice job against him early, holding him to 14 shooting in the game’s first 10 minutes. The Friars looked inside all first half to expose BC’s lack of an interior defensive presence, and it really began to click about 12 minutes into the game. Providence dominated the glass and forced the Eagles into some turnovers in the paint, which in turn helped them on the offensive end.

BC would fire back however, pushing the pace and creating in transition, led of course by Bowman. The change really began when Providence big man Nate Watson went to the bench, allowing the Eagles to even the floor. BC would storm back on a quick 15-0 run to take the lead with just under 4 minutes remaining in the half, courtesy of 3 Chris Herren Jr. three pointers. The Eagles would end the half on a 21-6 run and lead 43-39 at the break.

Entering the second half, Providence star Alpha Diallo was 0 for his last 14 field goal attempts, dating back to Saturday’s win over the Rhode Island Rams. After just two free throws in the first half, Diallo would make his presence felt on the offensive end with 10 of the Friars’ first 16 second half points. The junior was clearly the best player on the floor during the half’s first ten minutes.

Both teams were neck and neck down the stretch, exchanging punches throughout the second frame. AJ Reeves began to gain some steam just under the halfway point, scoring 8 straight points for the Friars, giving them a 1-point lead with about 6 minutes to go. From this point on, it was down to the wire.

The Eagles took it to Providence inside and had a 3-point lead with a minute remaining, but a three-point play from Maliek White as he was falling to the ground brought this one to 84 apiece. A Bowman free throw would put BC up one with 35 seconds left, but a Providence foul on an offensive rebound attempt would send Diallo to the bench with 5 fouls, and allow the Eagles to go up 3. Just when the fans thought it was over, Reeves came back down to continue his strong showing and hit a game-tying three with 2 seconds left to send it to overtime.

Providence operated without White for the majority of the overtime, as he fouled out with 4 minutes left in the extra period. The whistles continued on both sides, as the Friars lost David Duke for the stretch as well, but Cooley’s squad was able to withstand the BC push to take this one by 5.

Game Notes:

  • AJ Reeves led the scoring for Providence, finishing with 24 points on 8/18 shooting. Nate Watson had 19 points and 10 rebounds. He was a major factor inside all game long for the Friars. Alpha Diallo finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
  • Boston College was led by Jordan Chatman, Ky Bowman, and Wynston Tabbs with 28, 17, and 17 points, respectively.
  • Providence owned the edge on interior scoring, finishing with 44 points in the paint compared to BC’s 30.
  • Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge sat courtside at this one. Ky Bowman was likely one of his main interests, as he’s projected to go midway through the 2019 NBA Draft.
  • The officials were whistle happy, to put it politely. This one had 79 total free throws.