Jan. 22, 2009
Newark, N.J. - The Providence College men's basketball team (13-6, 5-2) defeated Seton Hall University (9-9, 0-6) by a score of 98-93 in overtime on Thursday, January 22 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Senior Jeff Xavier (Pawtucket, R.I.) paced the Friars with 20 points and shot five-of-seven from 3-point territory. PC is now 5-2 in BIG EAST play for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
The Friars led 8-4 three minutes into the game and held an 14-11 advantage at the 14:11 mark of the first half behind six quick points from senior Jonathan Kale (Mattapan, Mass.). A 3-pointer by Xavier put the Friars back up 18-15 and he nailed another trey to help PC build a 23-17 lead with 10:18 to go in the half.
Xavier hit his fourth 3-pointer of the opening stanza to extend the lead to 31-22 and senior Weyinmi Efejuku (Fresh Meadowns, N.Y.) hit another triple to put the PC advantage at 36-22 at the 6:36 mark. The sequence was part of an 8-0 run for the Friars.
Seton Hall responded with consecutive treys by sophomore Jeremy Hazell to move within eight (41-33) with four minutes to play in the half.
A Marshon Brooks (Stone Mountain, Ga.) 3-pointer with 1:23 to go in the half ended a 13-0 run by the Pirates. A breakaway lay-in by Efejuku built the PC lead back to 46-40 and the Friars entered the half with a 46-42 lead.
The Friars shot 56.7 percent (17-30) in the half, including a season-high 75.0 percent (9-12) from 3-point range. Xavier paced Providence with 12 first-half points.
Seton Hall tied the score at 50 two minutes into the second half and took the lead on a Hazell triple at 53-52. The Friars regained the lead on two free throws from senior Randall Hanke (New York, N.Y.) and another trey by Xavier put the Friars back up, 66-61. A good look off the inbounds pass from Efejuku found Brooks under the basket to give Providence a 72-64 advantage with 10:07 to go in the second half.
Two more treys from Hazell helped the Pirates tie the score at 72 at the 8:14 mark. Two free throws by Kale moved the Friars back in front, 76-75, with 4:58 to go. McDermott hit two important free throws to give PC an 81-77 lead, but the Pirates answered back to tie the score at 82 with two minutes to go.
Down one with 10 seconds to play, McDermott hit one-of-two free throws to tie the score at 84 and Seton Hall could not score in the final seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.
A streaking slam dunk by Efejuku gave the Friars a 90-88 lead with 2:45 remaining in the overtime. After the Pirates retook the lead, Xavier hit two free throws to give Providence the 93-91 advantage. Junior Sharaud Curry (Gainesville, Ga.) answered Xavier with two free throws of his own to give PC a 95-91 lead that it would not relinquish.
The Friars were aggressive throughout the game and made more free throws (31) than the Pirates attempted (22). Providence shot 55.0 percent (11-20) from 3-point territory and hit 50.0 percent (28-56) of its total attempts for the game.
Kale added a double-double for PC with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Efejuku contributed 19 points and eight rebounds.
Hazell led Seton Hall with 30 points.
The Friars return home on Wednesday, January 28 for a 7:00 p.m. contest against #8 Syracuse at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling (401) 865-GOPC.
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