DAYTON, Ohio – The Providence College men’s basketball team fell to USC, 75-71, on March 15 in the NCAA First Four in Dayton, Ohio. Emmitt Holt (Webster, N.Y.) led Providence with 18 points and 11 boards.
USC started the game on a 7-0 run through the first 2:39 of play. Holt halted the run with a jumper at 18:02 and was the start of a 15-7 scoring advantage to give Providence its first lead (15-14) with 12:48 on the clock.
Later in the half, Providence exploded on a 15-0 run to take a 30-20 lead with 6:05 remaining in the first half. USC answered with a 7-2 run to get within 32-26 with 4:30 on the clock, but Providence held off the threat with an 8-0 run to take a 41-26 lead. Providence led by as many as 17 points (44-27) with 53-second on the clock. The Friars took a 44-29 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Jalen Lindsey (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) led the Friars with 15 first-half points on 4-7 shooting from three-point territory. Rodney Bullock (Hampton, Va.) also reached double figures for Providence with 10 points. As a team, the Friars shot 55.6-percent from the field (15-27), including 53.3-percent from three point territory (8-15). The Friars also dished 11 assists on 15 made field goals.
Holt opened the second half with a jumper to take a 46-29 lead, but the Trojans answered with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to nine (37-46) with 16:32 to play.
Providence pushed its lead back out to 13 on back-to-back buckets by Bullock and Holt at the 15:01 mark and held a 12-point edge (52-40) with 12:53 remaining.
USC rallied to get within four (59-55) with 8:27 on the clock with the help of a 15-7 scoring advantage and eventually regained the lead (61-60) with 6:46 remaining. Providence was forced to call a timeout with 5:51 left in the game as USC maintained its momentum to take a 63-60 lead, fueled by an 11-1 over a stretch of 1:54.
After the timeout, Holt got a bucket down low for the Friars, but USC answered with three-straight buckets to take a 69-62 lead with 2:59 remaining.
Bullock stopped the run with a jumper to make it a five-point game (69-64). However, the Friars could not make up ground down the stretch as the two teams finished the game deadlocked in the scoring column (6-6).
Holt led the Friars with 18 points and hauled in 11 rebounds for a double-double. Bullock and Lindsey each finished the night with 17 points. Kyron Cartwright (Compton, Calif.) contributed nine points and a game-high seven assists.
USC was led by Bennie Boatwright’s 24 points. Jordan McLaughlin added 18 points and 10 boards, followed by 15 points and eight boards by Chimezie Metu.
Providence concluded its season with a 20-13 overall record, while USC (25-9) advances to the First Round to face SMU.
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