Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
The final score of the game tonight against 10th ranked Providence Friars doesn’t really tell the story for the Hoyas who battled back for most of the game.
The Hoyas, who trailed by nine with around two minutes remaining, almost completed back-to-back massive comebacks following a shocking victory over Creighton. Just like they have in a few games this season, their one go to player, 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.
“Early on we were not able to make the plays to not let them get a lead, to not let them pull away,” Hoyas Coach John Thompson III said. “We scrapped and got back in it, but there was not enough time.”
Providence had another stellar performance from Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn with 26 points each, but saw little else from the remainder of their bench. The Hoyas contained the bench, but didn’t have the answers for either one in the final minutes.
In the second half, Dunn became the 48th player in Providence history to reach 1,000 career points. The reigning Big East co-player of the year joins a group that includes former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., who finished his college career with 1,520 points.
“Another Big East war on the road,” Providence Coach Ed Cooley said. “I tried to get the players locked in after a tough home loss [on Tuesday to Xavier, 75-68]. I thought we played with some desperation. We wanted to try to be more aggressive going to the basket.”