March 14, 2014
Providence Postgame Quotes
Seton Hall Postgame Quotes
NEW YORK (AP) -LaDontae Henton had 26 points and 14 rebounds, Bryce Cotton added 18 points and 10 assists, and Providence advanced to its second Big East championship game with an 80-74 victory over stubborn Seton Hall on Friday night.
Tyler Harris scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half for the fourth-seeded Friars (22-11), who seemingly cemented their first NCAA tournament bid in 10 years. They can take it out of the selection committee’s hands and earn an automatic berth by winning Saturday night, when they'll represent the Big East old guard against Creighton or Xavier, both newcomers to the league.
An original member of the overhauled conference, Providence has only been to the tournament title game one other time, when it won the 1994 championship.
Fuquan Edwin had 20 points for eighth-seeded Seton Hall (17-17), which was trying to reach its first Big East title game in 21 years. Sterling Gibbs scored 13, but senior center Eugene Teague, coming off consecutive double-doubles, was held to 11 in 19 foul-plagued minutes.
Brian Oliver’s 3-pointer cut it to 78-74 with 8.7 seconds on the clock, and Cotton was called for a foul as Providence tried to inbound the ball. Edwin, however, missed on a contested drive and Josh Fortune grabbed the rebound before converting two foul shots to seal it.
Seton Hall pulled within one with 13:23 left on a 3-pointer by Gibbs that capped a 9-1 spurt. Harris responded for the Friars, hitting a bank shot in the lane before Henton connected on a 3-pointer with his sweet left-handed stroke.
After a Pirates basket, Harris made two free throws and nailed a 3 for a 56-47 cushion with 11:07 to go. Less than 90 seconds later, Teague went to the bench with his fourth foul. And when Henton hit consecutive 3s, getting a friendly roll on the second one, it was 64-53 with 7:18 remaining.
Seton Hall reached its first semifinal since 2001 with one-point wins over Butler and No. 3 Villanova — stunning the top-seeded Wildcats on Thursday with a buzzer-beating jumper from Gibbs.
Providence advanced by holding off St. John’s 79-74 in the quarterfinals despite one of Cotton’s worst games. The conference’s second-leading scorer and top assist man, he shot 1 for 10 and had only 12 points — ending a streak of seven games with 20 or more.
Cotton, a unanimous first-team all-Big East selection, was back in form Friday night, running the offense and hitting timely shots while approaching his scoring average of 21.4 points.
In a matchup of Big East charter members, Providence opened 9 of 12 from the field and hit nine of its first 10 free throws. Fortune was lucky indeed when he banked in a 3-pointer, and Seton Hall had a problem when Teague went to the bench with two early fouls.
The Friars went on a 12-0 run to take a 25-14 lead with 11:23 left in the first half. The margin was still 11 with 5 minutes to go when, with Teague back in the game, Seton Hall started to make up some ground.
Teague converted a three-point play and Oliver drained a 3 just before the buzzer to trim Providence’s lead to 38-34 at halftime. Henton had 15 points in the first 20 minutes.