Providence’s season changed in the blink of an eye the last time it played Seton Hall.
The Friars lost Bryce Hopkins, last year’s leading scorer and rebounder, to a torn ACL in that 61-57 defeat on Jan. 3, triggering a four-game losing streak. Finally off the schneid, Providence can exact revenge when it visits Seton Hall on Wednesday in Newark, N.J.
Providence (12-6, 3-4 Big East) ended its slide with a 100-62 win at woeful DePaul on Jan. 17. Devin Carter had 25 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals to power the Friars.
Players’ rotations and roles have had to change since losing Hopkins, but Providence coach Kim English proclaimed there was “no panic button” anywhere in the state of Rhode Island.
“We have macro patience in this program,” English said postgame. “That second half of Seton Hall was the first opportunity without practice to try those lineups. Then we had a few practices, and then Creighton. Then a few more practices, then St. John’s. … Even the blowout against Xavier, I felt all along there were great opportunities and room for growth.”
The Friars’ silver lining is Carter, a lead guard who has garnered NBA draft talk thanks to his all-around game. The Big East’s second-leading scorer this season at 18.2 points per game, he’s averaged 22.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals in conference play.
Providence had a week off between games, while the Pirates (13-6, 6-2) will still be catching their collective breath after Saturday’s 97-94 loss to then-No. 18 Creighton in triple overtime.
Before the second overtime had ended, Kadary Richmond had achieved the second triple-double in Seton Hall history; he finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. But he logged 51 minutes, and all five starters played at least 45 in the loss.
Seton Hall rallied from down six in the second half, then made game-tying plays late in each of the first two overtime periods.
“I like the way we played,” coach Shaheen Holloway said. “We lost and I’m super disappointed — anybody who knows me knows I’m a competitor — but we’re walking out of here with our heads high. It’s a tough loss, but we gotta bounce back. We’ve got a good Providence team on Wednesday.”
It won’t put a damper on the Pirates’ surprising start to the season. They’ve earned four Quad 1 wins, including on the road in the first Providence matchup, when Dre Davis scored a team-high 17 points. Davis had a season-high 21 on 10-of-12 shooting against Creighton.
–Field Level Media
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