New York, N.Y. – The Providence College men’s basketball team began their trip to the Big Apple with a 77-70 win over Washington in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Friars will face Saint Louis in the Championship game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden on ESPN2. It marks the fifth straight season that the Friars have reached the championship game of their in-season tournament.
Senior Rodney Bullock (Hampton, Va.) led the Friars with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore guard Drew Edwards (Perry Hill, M.D.) came off the bench to finish with 11 points and four rebounds off the bench for the Friars.
Providence (2-1) held a 12-point lead with 6:56 remaining but a 12-2 Washington run capped off by a Matisse Thybulle three-pointer trimmed the Friars lead to just 69-68 with two minutes to play.
Friars’ freshman center Nate Watson (Arlington, Va.) answered with a lay up and Providence connected on their final six free throws to seal the win.
The Friars got off to a fast start on both ends of the floor and a three pointer from senior point guard Kyron Cartwright (Compton, Calif.) put Providence up 11-5 early.
Washington claimed their first lead of the game with just over five minutes remaining in the first half as a drive and finish by Aziz N’Diaye gave the Huskies a 24-23 lead.
Providence immediately responded. The Friars answered the Huskies' brief spurt by going on a 13-0 run highlighted by consecutive three pointers from Bullock and Cartwright to take a 36-24 advantage with less than three minutes to play in the opening half.
Defensively in the first half the Friars’ wreaked havoc forcing 15 Washington turnovers and compiling six steals that led to 19 points.
Providence went into the half with a 37-30 lead.
The Huskies quickly got themselves back in the game to begin the second half as a 13-6 run evened the game up at 43.
As the contest wore on Providence got more comfortable going up Washington’s stout matchup zone defense.
Bullock and Maliek White (Richmond, Va.) drained consecutive treys before Edwards finished an and-one layup to put Providence back in front 54-47 with 12:23 to play.
Later in the half, sophomore Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) received the ball at the foul line in the middle of the Huskies' zone and quickly fired a pinpoint pass to Edwards for three-pointer from the right wing.
On the next Providence possession, Diallo once again helped the Friars create as he drove along the base line and dumped the ball off to sophomore Kalif Young (Vaughan, Ontario) for a layup to give Providence their largest lead of the game, 65-54, with 8:14 to play.
- GO FRIARS -
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