PROVIDENCE COLLEGE SET TO FACE CREIGHTON IN BIG EAST TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND... The Providence College women's basketball team enters the BIG EAST Tournament as the No. 10 seed and will face No. 7 seed Creighton in the first round on Saturday, March 5 at 3:00 p.m. ET. All games in this year's tournament will be played at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Ill. (March 5-8).
BIG EAST DIGITAL NETWORK... The Friars' first-round game vs. Creighton will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN) via FOX Sports Go. Viewers may download the FOX Sports GO app on a mobile device or tablet, or simply navigate to www.FOXSportsGO.com to catch the action.
PROVIDENCE ALL-TIME AT THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT... Providence has posted a 19-27 record all-time in BIG EAST Tournament play (.413). The Friars have lost 10-straight BIG EAST Tournament games heading into Saturday's match-up vs. Creighton. Fourth-year Head Coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl is 0-3 in BIG EAST Tournament action, falling by single digits in each of the last two tournament games. Last year, the Friars fell to Marquette, 78-75.
LAST TIME THE FRIARS WON A BIG EAST TOURNAMENT GAME... The last time the Friars won a BIG EAST Tournament game dates back to March 3, 2001 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. On that day, the 11th-seeded Friars defeated No. 6 seed Seton Hall, 72-61.
THE ONE AND ONLY... Providence won the BIG EAST Championship in 1990. The Friars are one of four active members of the league to secure a BIG EAST title, along with St. John's (3), Villanova (3) and DePaul (2).
FIRST MEETING BETWEEN PROVIDENCE AT CREIGHTON IN BIG EAST TOURNAMENT ACTION... The Friars and Bluejays will meet for the first time during BIG EAST Tournament action, when they match-up in the first round on March 5 in Chicago, Ill. Creighton is 1-2 overall at the BIG EAST Tournament, while Providence is 19-27.
WHAT LIES AHEAD... The winner of Saturday's first-round match-up between No. 10 Providence and No. 7 Creighton will advance to the quarterfinals on March 6 to face No. 2 seed Villanova. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast live on FS2.
PROVIDENCE VS. CREIGHTON ALL-TIME... The Friars and Bluejays have met seven times during the history of the two women's basketball programs. Creighton leads the all-time series, 6-1, but the Friars claimed victory in the most recent meeting between the two teams on Feb. 14 in Providence, R.I. (61-59).
THE MOST RECENT MEETING BETWEEN PROVIDENCE AND CREIGHTON... Providence College claimed a 61-59 win over Creighton on Feb. 14 in Providence, R.I. Junior guard Sarah Beal (Matthews, N.C.) led four Friars in double figures with 13 points and also added three rebounds and a game-high four assists and three steals. Providence took a 30-29 lead into the break, marking just the fourth halftime lead of the season, and first since Dec. 9 vs. Bryant University. Beal led all scorers in the first half with eight points on 4-6 shooting. MC McGrory led Creighton with seven points in the opening 20 minutes. Creighton opened the second half with a Baily Norby lay-up, but Providence regained the lead less than 30-seconds later (8:48) with a lay-in from Brianna Frias (Worcester, Mass.). It would be a lead the Friars would not relinquish the rest of the game. Providence pushed its lead to nine (50-41) on a Maddie Jolin (Rehoboth, Mass.) triple with 38-seconds remaining in the third quarter, and the Friars took a 50-43 lead into the final 10 minutes of play. The Friars claimed their largest lead of the game at the 7:23 mark as freshman Jovana `Yoyo' Nogic (Lisbon, Portugal) knocked down a three-point bucket from the left wing. From that point, Creighton steadily chipped away at the deficit and got within one (60-59) with 14-seconds left in regulation. The Friars turned the ball over with nine-seconds on the clock, but Sydney Lamberty didn't get a clean look at the go-ahead bucket for Creighton. Jolin came up with a timely defensive rebound for the Friars to seal the win with .04 seconds left on the clock. Jolin was fouled on the play and hit one-of-two free throws to give Providence a 61-59 victory. Jolin and Nogic finished the night with 11 points each, while Aliyah Miller (Southaven, Miss.) collected 10 points and a team-high five rebounds. Jolin and senior Evi Iiskola (Espoo, Finland) also hauled in five boards for the Friars. Two of Jolin's five boards came off of the defensive glass in the final 1:17 of the game to keep the Bluejays off the scoreboard.
ALLEGRA BOTTEGHI STEPS UP FOR THE FRIARS... Sophomore Allegra Botteghi has recorded double figures in the scoring column during six of the Friars' last nine games, including a career-high 17 points against DePaul on Feb. 19. She also has posted two double-doubles during the stretch vs. Marquette on Feb. 21 (15 points/10 rebounds) and Seton Hall on Feb. 28 (14 points/13 rebounds). Her 13 boards marked a career high. During the last nine games, Botteghi has averaged a team-best 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. She also has shot 45.8-percent from the field (33-72), including 36.4-percent from three-point territory (12-33).
EARNING HER STRIPES... Freshman guard Maddie Jolin came off the bench as a reserve during the first 15 games of her collegiate career with the Friars, but has worked her way into the starting line-up, where she has been a mainstay in each of the last 13 games. As a member of the starting line-up, Jolin has averaged 9.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Six of her seven double-digit scoring games have come as a member of the starting line-up, including a career-high 20 points vs. Marquette (Jan. 22). Jolin reached double figures in four of the Friars last five regular-season games.
UNCHARTERED TERRITORY... Junior guard Sarah Beal will be making her first appearance in a BIG EAST Tournament game. During each of her first two seasons with the Friars, injury prohibited Beal from playing during the postseason. Beal currently leads the Friars in scoring (10.9 ppg), assists (3.3 apg) and steals (1.7 spg). She also ranks second among her teammates in rebounding (4.4 rpg).
SARAH BEAL MOVES INTO 13th PLACE ALL-TIME IN ASSISTS AT PROVIDENCE... Sarah Beal enters the BIG EAST Tournament with 293 career assists (4.1 apg). In the Friars' regular-season finale vs. Seton Hall on Feb. 28, Beal dished five assists and passed former Friars Sonya Lewis `94 (290) and Paulette Hassett `78 (291) to move into 13th place on the Friars' all-time career assist list. Beal is currently looking up at Diann Reynolds `88, who ranks 12th on the list with 299 dimes.
ERICA MEYER CLOSING IN ON RECORD FOR BLOCKED SHOTS BY A FRESHMAN AT PROVIDENCE... Freshman forward Erica Meyer has recorded a team-best 40 blocked shots this season in the 27 games she has played. Her 40 blocks are the second-highest total in program history for a freshman. Andrea Mangum `90 holds the program's record for blocks by a freshman with 41. Meyer needs just one blocked shot to tie Mangum for the freshman record, and two blocks to take sole possession of the mark.
YOYO NOGIC HITS MOST THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS BY A FRESHMAN SINCE 1994-95... Freshman Jovana `Yoyo' Nogic has hit 50-125 three-point field-goal attempts this season to lead the Friars in both makes and percentage (.400). Her 50 three pointers are the most by a freshman at Providence since Julie Wheeler `98 hit 82 triples as a rookie during the 1994-95 campaign (82-237, .346), which also marks the program's single-season record.
TRIO OF FRESHMEN LEAD THE WAY FROM THREE-POINT TERRITORY... Freshmen Yoyo Nogic, Clara Che and Maddie Jolin have combined to make 102 of the Friars' 131 three-point field goals this season, shooting a collective 102-274 (0.372) from beyond the arc. The rest of the team has combined to shoot 29-120 from three-point territory (0.242). Nogic leads the Friars overall from three-point territory (.400, 50-125), while Che is tops on the team in three-point percentage during BIG EAST regular-season action (.407, 24-59).
BLOCK PARTY... Erica Meyer leads the Friars in blocked shots this season (40) and has swatted at least one shot in 18 games. Meyer ranks third in the BIG EAST Conference (all games) in blocks per game (1.5 bpg). Meyer recorded a season-best four blocked shots vs. Richmond (Dec. 5) and Marquette (Jan. 22), and has recorded multiple blocks in a game 13 times, including each of the last three.
ROAD WOES... The Friars are 1-12 this season in road games. Prior to the Friars' 64-55 overtime victory against Rhode Island on Dec. 20 of this season, Providence had not won a game on the road since Jan. 23, 2015. On that day, the Friars clipped Marquette, 66-58, in Milwaukee, Wis.
IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD START... The Friars are 4-1 this season when leading at halftime. The Friars' only blemish when leading at the break came against Marquette on Feb. 21. Providence led the Golden Eagles 43-36 at the half, but were defeated by a score of 92-85.
YOYO NOGIC NAMED TO BIG EAST WEEKLY HONOR ROLL... Jovana `Yoyo' Nogic was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Feb. 22 for her performance in games vs. No. 21/19 DePaul (Feb. 19) and Marquette (Feb. 21). During the two-game span, Nogic averaged 19.5 points and dished 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 60-percent from the field (15-25), and 53.8-percent from three-point range (7-13). It marks the first time Nogic has earned weekly honors from the league. On Feb. 19, Nogic hit the 20-point plateau for the second time this season, and first time in BIG EAST Conference play, with 20 points vs. nationally-ranked DePaul. She shot a blistering 81.8-percent from the field (9-11), including 2-3 attempts from three-point territory. Nogic also added one rebound and one assist in 24 minutes of action off the bench. Nogic followed with 19 points, seven assists and one steal vs. Marquette on Feb. 21. Her seven assists matched her career high, previously set against Monmouth on Nov. 28. Nogic hit 6-14 attempts from the field overall (.429), including a 5-10 showing from beyond the three-point arc (.500). Her five three-pointers marked her second-highest total of the season overall, and the most vs. a BIG EAST Conference opponent. Earlier this season, she knocked down six three-point buckets vs. Hartford on Nov. 25.
SARAH BEAL NAMED TO BIG EAST WEEKLY HONOR ROLL... Sarah Beal was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Feb. 15. It marked Beal's fourth appearance of the season on the honor roll and fifth of her career. Beal notched a team-high 13 points, four assists and three steals to help Providence claim a 61-59 victory over Creighton on Feb. 14. Beal also added three rebounds and one blocked shot.
SARAH BEAL SETS PROGRAM'S SINGLE-GAME STEALS RECORD... On Dec. 9 vs. Bryant, junior guard Sarah Beal collected 10 steals to set the Friars' single-game steals record, previously held by Helen Jessie-Mency `91. Mency collected nine steals vs. Pitt on Feb. 5, 1991. For some perspective - Mency set the previous mark for steals in a game four years before Beal was born (1995).
MOST STEALS BY A BIG EAST PLAYER SINCE 2012... Sarah Beal's 10 steals on Dec. 9 vs. Bryant are the most by a BIG EAST Conference player since Andrell Smith (USF) recorded 12 on Dec. 22, 2012 vs. Creighton.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE... In addition to setting the single game steals record at Providence, with 10 thefts, Beal also recorded 23 points vs. Bryant on Dec. 9 for her first double-double of the season. It marks the first points/steals double-double by a BIG EAST player since Dec. 22, 2012 when Andrell Smith (USF) recorded 27 points and 12 steals vs. Creighton. Beal notched her first double-double on Jan. 28, 2014 vs. Butler with 13 points and 13 assists.
DOUBLE-TROUBLE... Sarah Beal notched her second double-double of the season in the Friars' game vs. Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 12. Beal posted 12 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. Beal owns three double-doubles in her career and they all have come in different ways. On Jan. 28, 2014, she recorded 13 points and 13 assists vs. Butler. On Dec. 9, 2015, Beal posted 23 points and 10 steals vs. Bryant, followed by her 12 point/12 rebound performance vs. FGCU (Dec. 12).
ALIYAH MILLER RECORDS SECOND CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE... Junior forward Aliyah Miller recorded the second double-double of her career with the Friars on Jan. 22 vs. Marquette with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Miller shot 8-12 from the field vs. the Golden Eagles. Her eight made field goals and five offensive rebounds also matched her previous career-highs.
MADDIE JOLIN COLLECTS CAREER-BEST SIX STEALS IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES... On Jan. 8 vs. Butler, freshman guard Maddie Jolin recorded a career-high six steals. Each of her six steals came during the final 1:59 of regulation, which fueled a furious come-back effort by the Friars. Providence trailed by 27 points in the fourth quarter, but eventually fell to the Bulldogs by a 10-point margin (77-67). On Jan. 10, Jolin recorded six steals for the second-consecutive games vs. Xavier. Her six steals vs. Butler and Xavier are tied for the most thefts in a single-game during BIG EAST Conference play. However, Jolin is the only player to record six steals in multiple league games this year.
FRIARS POST HIGHEST SHOOTING PERCENTAGE FROM THE FIELD SINCE 2006... On Nov. 25, the Friars shot 57.5-percent from the field vs. Hartford (23-40). It marked the highest field-goal percentage in a single game since Nov. 28, 2006 vs. New Hampshire (59.6-percent, 31-52).
EIGHT OF 11 PLAYERS ON THE ROSTER ARE UNDERCLASSMEN... Providence has a youthful look in 2015-16, as eight of its 11 players are freshmen or sophomores. The freshmen are the largest class, which is comprised of five players and there are three members in the sophomore class. The Friars have just one senior (Evi Iiskola) and two juniors (Sarah Beal and Aliyah Miller).
INTERNATIONAL FLAIR... The Friars have four international players on their roster this season, including senior Evi Iiskola (Espoo, Finland), sophomore Allegra Botteghi (Bologna, Italy), freshman Clara Che (Barcelona, Spain) and freshman Jovana "Yoyo" Nogic (Lisbon, Portugal). Each of the four players have competed in FIBA-sponsored events during their international careers, including three of the four players this past summer. Nogic played for Serbia [was born in Belgrade] in the FIBA U19 World Championships and FIBA U18 European Championships. Che represented Spain, who won the gold medal at the U18 European Championships. Botteghi competed for Italy at the FIBA U20 European Championships.
BEAL NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST TEAM... Despite limited action in 2014-15, junior Sarah Beal was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team for the second-straight season. Prior to her sophomore campaign, Beal was an honorable mention pick. Beal concluded her rookie season [2013-14] with the Friars as a BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection. Beal is the only current member of the team to have earned preseason or post-season honors from the BIG EAST.
FRIARS' BIG EAST TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE... A total of four players on the Friars' roster have BIG EAST Tournament experience, however, senior Evi Iiskola is the only player that has seen significant minutes. In three BIG EAST Tournament games, she has averaged 34 minutes, 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Junior Aliyah Miller has played in two tournament games, averaging 13.0 minutes, 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Allegra Botteghi and Brianna Frias saw action as freshmen last season in the first round vs. Marquette, coming off the bench to play three minutes and seven minutes, respectively. A full breakdown of the Friars' BIG EAST Tournament experience is below:
CURRENT FRIARS IN BIG EAST TOURNAMENT ALL-TIME
#30 Evi Iiskola (3 games) - 10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg
3/7/15 vs. Marquette - 27 minutes, 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
3/8/14 vs. Seton Hall - 38 minutes, 21 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
3/8/13 vs. Georgetown - 37 minutes, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
#22 Aliyah Miller (2 games) - 3.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
3/7/15 vs. Marquette - 3 minutes, 2 points
3/8/14 vs. Seton Hall - 23 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds
#25 Brianna Frias (1 game) - 1.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.0 spg
3/7/15 vs. Marquette - 7 minutes, 1 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
#10 Allegra Botteghi (1 game) - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 1 spg
3/7/15 vs. Marquette - 3 minutes, 1 steal
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