Men's Basketball Crowned BIG EAST Champs, Defeat Creighton, 65-58

March 16, 2014

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NEW YORK, N.Y. The Providence College men's basketball team was crowned the BIG EAST Tournament Champion by defeating No. 14 Creighton, 65-58, in the Championship Game, on Saturday, March 15 at Madison Square Garden. Senior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) was named the BIG EAST Championship's Most Outstanding Player. Cotton recorded a team-high 23 points and added five rebounds. It is Providence's second BIG EAST Tournament Championship in the 35-year history of the BIG EAST. The Friars also captured the title in 1994, when the Friars defeated Georgetown, 74-64, on March 13, 1994.

With 1:17 remaining in the game, senior All-American Doug McDermott hit a three-pointer to bring Creighton within two points (58-56). Junior LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) then hit Providence's second field goal since the nine minute mark to give PC a four-point lead (60-56, 00:45). McDermott followed with a missed three-pointer, but Henton responded for the Friars with two free throws. The Friar defense then forced McDermott to miss a layup. PC continued to make free throws as sophomore Josh Fortune (Hampton, Va.) hit two free throws of his own. McDermott scored one more time (2-pointer) to make the score 64-58. Then sophomore Tyler Harris (Dix Hills, N.Y.) further sealed the victory with a free throw and brought the final score to 65-58.

Providence (23-11, 10-8) had three separate 12-point leads in a back-and-forth scoring second half.

The Friars held Creighton scoreless through five minutes in the first half (11:07-5:49) to gain a 17-11 advantage. Providence rattled off nine-straight points in the run. The Friars closed out the frame with a 26-17 lead. Harris led the Friars in scoring with nine points in the half. Henton pulled down eight rebounds. McDermott tallied nine points for the Bluejays. Providence edged Creighton, 36 percent to 35 percent, in shooting from the floor. The Bluejays did not attempt a free throw in the half.

Harris and Fortune both finished the game with 10 points. Henton led the team with 13 rebounds. The PC defense held Creighton to 27 percent three-point shooting in the game. On the season, the Bluejays averaged 42 percent from beyond the arc.

McDermott led all scorers with 27 points and had a team-high five rebounds. Junior Avery Dingman reached double figures in scoring with 10 points.

Three different Friars lead in scoring in each of the three games in the BIG EAST Tournament (Fortune-Game 1, Henton-Game 2, Cotton-Game 3).

With the victory the Friars improve to 23-11. It is the first time since 1996-97 that the team posted 23 or more wins. The 97 team finished with a 24-12 mark.

Henton was named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team.

With the Championship win, the Friars earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The team will await its seed, which will be announced on Selection Sunday at 6:00 p.m. on CBS. A selection show party will be held at Alumni Hall on the campus of Providence College. The event is free-of-charge and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the selection show begins at 6:00 p.m. on CBS.




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