INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - The Providence College women's basketball team defeated Butler, 64-58, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. on Feb. 24. It marked the second-straight win in conference play for the Friars and the first back-to-back wins in BIG EAST play for Providence since the 2011-12 season. The victory over Butler also completed the season sweep, as the Friars defeated the Bulldogs 68-51 earlier this season (Dec. 30). The last time Providence swept a season series in league play dates back to the 2010-11 campaign (Villanova).
Sophomore Yoyo Nogic (Lisbon, Portugal) paced four Friars in double figures with 19 points, including 13 in the second half. Junior Allegra Botteghi (Bologna, Italy) contributed a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Her 13 boards matched her previous career high and were all taken off of the defensive glass.
The Friars led 13-8 with 2:49 remaining in the first quarter, but Butler finished the opening frame with an 11-2 run to take a 19-15 lead at the break.
Butler kept its momentum going in the second quarter, getting out to a 25-15 lead with a 6-0 spurt. The Friars answered the call with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to two (27-25) with 1:38 to play in the quarter. The Bulldogs held off the threat with back-to-back buckets to gain a six-point advantage with a minute left (31-25). Clara Che (Valencia, Spain) finished the half with a three-point bucket and the Bulldogs took a 31-28 lead into halftime.
Botteghi paced the Friars with 11 first-half points and seven rebounds. It marked the second-consecutive game that Botteghi tallied double figures in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs pushed their lead to 39-30 with 5:27 on the clock. The Friars rallied to out-score Butler 14-5 and tie the game, 44-44, heading into the fourth and final quarter.
Che opened the fourth with a three-pointer at the 9:09 mark to give Providence a 47-44 advantage. It marked the Friars' first lead since 1:43 remaining in the first quarter (13-11). Butler held strong to take a 50-49 lead with 6:01 on the clock, but the Friars responded with six-straight points to take a 55-50 lead with 2:56 to play.
During the run, sophomore Maddie Jolin (Rehoboth, Mass.) chipped in four points on back-to-back baskets. It marked her only points of the night, but the timing was critical.
Butler's Sydney Buck knocked down jumper to help cut the Bulldog's deficit to three (55-52) with 1:51 on the clock. Providence missed an offensive opportunity on the other end, but Butler coughed the ball up on its next possession. On the other end, Che drilled a timely three-pointer to give Providence a 58-52 edge with 43-seconds left. She followed with a pair of free throws 10 seconds later to improve PC's lead to 60-52.
The Bulldogs would not go away quietly, as Buck converted a three-point basket with 27-seconds remaining. However, the Friars sealed the game, shooting 4-4 from the free throw line in the final 18 seconds. The Friars were 8-8 from the line overall in the game.
Che finished the night with 14 points and a game-high five assists. She scored eight of her 14 points in the fourth quarter, having converted 2-2 field goals (both from three-point territory) and hitting each of her two free-throw attempts.
Beal rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points, and she added three assists and two steals.
Buck led Butler with 16 points off the bench, while Tori Schickel recorded a double-double on 11 points and 19 rebounds.
The Friars return to action on Sunday, Feb. 26 against Xavier. The game will be played at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. It marks the regular-season finale for both teams and will serve as the final tune-up for the BIG EAST Tournament (March 4-7).
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