CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The 10th-seeded Providence College men's basketball team lost to seventh-seeded Texas A&M, 73-69, in the NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday, March 16 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.
With the loss, Providence finished the season with a 21-14 record, while making its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Friars' five-straight NCAA appearances set a program record.
Senior Rodney Bullock (Hampton, Va.) led the Friars with 22 points and added five rebounds. Sophomore Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) finished with 21 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while senior point guard Kyron Cartwright (Compton, Calif.) tallied in 11 points and dished out nine assists.
The Aggies' frontcourt duo of Tyler Davis and Robert Williams. Davis and Williams combined for 27 points and 29 rebounds.
Providence trailed 28-27 to begin the second half but an alley-oop slam from Nate Watson (Arlington, Va.) and a step-back jumper from Cartwright gave the Friars a one-point lead.
The score was even at 35, but Diallo made a strong drive and finished an up-and-under to give the Friars a 37-35 lead at the under-16 media timeout.
Texas A&M responded, going on a 10-0 run, sparked by three pointers from D.J. Hogg and T.J. Starks to go in front 45-37 with 12:44 left.
Bullock brought the Friars back as he connected on consecutive three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run to trim the Aggies' lead to 47-45.
Moments later Cartwright tied the score hitting a turn-around step back from the elbow that evened the game up at 50 with 8:53 to play.
The Aggies surged over the following five minutes with a 12-2 run that put Texas A&M up 62-52 with just over two minutes left.
The Friars, meanwhile, went nearly four minutes without a basket.
Watson snapped the Friars' scoring drought with a dunk, but a three-point play by Davis gave the Aggies an 11-point lead with 2:07 to play.
The Friars got back within 67-61 on a Bullock three pointer and a Diallo layup.
Williams, however, finished a two-handed dunk off the press break to give the Aggies a nine-point lead with just 39 seconds left.
To start the game, Bullock got the scoring started, breaking the ice with a layup off the shot fake to give the Friars a 2-0 lead two minutes in.
Diallo scored the next four points for Providence via a pair of foul line jumpers to give the Friars a 6-0 lead.
Defensively the Friars picked up where they left off in the BIG EAST Tournament, holding the Aggies without a field goal for the first 7:19 of play.
The Friars increased their lead to 8-2 as Cartwright finished a feed from Diallo off the pick-and-roll, but a three-pointer by Tonny Trocha-Morelos and jumper from Williams pulled the Aggies within one at the under-12 media timeout.
Throughout the first half, Texas A&M alternated its defensive looks switching between a 2-3 zone, man-to-man, and a 1-3-1. When the Aggies went zone, the Friars found success in putting Diallo at the foul line area and getting him the ball in the high post.
A Diallo jumper from that spot on the floor put Providence ahead, 11-9, and moments later he dished out a pin-point pass to Lindsey for a top of the key trey to give the Friars a 14-11 lead.
Providence maintained a three-point lead into the under-eight media timeout but the Aggies jumped in front, 21-20, on a three pointer by Jay Jay Chandler with 4:45 left in the half.
Trailing by two, Bullock gave the Friars the lead back, cutting baseline and receiving a foul line feed from Lindsey before finishing through contact to put Providence up, 27-26.
With less than a minute to go, Davis finished a reverse layup to give Texas A&M a 28-27 lead at the half.
- GO FRIARS -
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