(photo via madduxsports.com)
Tuesday night brought forth a Big East battle between the 16th ranked Providence Friars and the 18th ranked Butler Bulldogs. This was the second meeting between the two teams this season. In their first match-up, the Friars trailed 36-25 at the half, but rallied to win by a final score of 81-73. This time, however, the game was much closer, as the Friars led at the half 36-33, with Kyron Cartwright leading the way with 13 points. This set up a nail biting finish that resulted in a Friars win with the final score being 71-68.
Aside from Cartwright, the Friars had a couple of players step up in a game where they really needed it. Those players were Ben Bentil and Rodney Bullock. Bentil has really stepped his game up so far this season, and entered Tuesday night averaging 19.2 points per game. He put up twenty points, along with seven rebounds. Bentil also continued his solid free throw shooting by going eight for ten from the stripe. Bullock started hot and had a quick six points before running into slight foul trouble. However, he would finish with sixteen points and eight rebounds. The Friars star player, Kris Dunn, had a poor game, but still managed to finish with 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and hit two threes late in the game that helped seal the deal.
With this win, the Friars now move to 16-3 on the season and 4-2 in Big East play. The Friars next game will be a true test as they hit the road and take on the 4th ranked Wildcats of Villanova. Villanova is currently sitting atop the Big East, and have not lost to the Friars since February of 2013. Tip off for Saturday’s game is 12 pm.
– K. Troy