Washington, D.C. (SportsNetwork.com) - Big East Conference competition rolls on Wednesday as the Providence Friars make a trip to the Verizon Center to take on the 24th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas.
Providence saw a three-game win streak come to an end on Saturday, as the Friars were defeated by St. John's, 75-66, at Madison Square Garden. The loss dropped Providence back to 6-3 in the Big East standings, with a 2-4 mark in road games.
Georgetown was able to rebound from a 13-point loss to Xavier last week with a 67-40 thrashing of Creighton in Omaha on Saturday. The Hoyas have now won five of their last six games, and boast a 7-3 mark against league competition. They are also 10-2 when playing at home this season.
Providence and Georgetown have met 65 times on the court in their history, with Georgetown owning a 44-21 all-time series advantage. The two sides clashed earlier this season in Providence, as the Friars came out on top in a thrilling 60-57 overtime win over the Hoyas.
Providence jumped out ahead of St. John's early on Saturday in New York City, but the Friars could only make their lead last for about a quarter of the contest before the Red Storm leapt ahead and took a 12-point advantage into the intermission. There was no looking back by St. John's from that point on. Providence connected on 41.3 percent of its field goals in the loss, and shot a dismal 3-of-16 from 3-point range. Kris Dunn topped the squad with 23 points, adding in four rebounds and four assists. LaDontae Henton added 13 points and six rebounds, but faltered shooting from the floor. He made only 2- of-14 in the game, including 0-of-5 from beyond the arc. Nine of his 13 points came from the free-throw line. Carson Desrosiers chipped in with 10 points in the defeat.
Even though he experienced an off day where he shot the ball extremely poor from the field, Henton continues to pace Providence through his stellar senior campaign. He leads the Friars and the Big East in scoring, averaging 20.4 ppg this season on 45.9 percent shooting from the floor. Henton steals the show in the scoring department, but it's Dunn in every other facet of the game that leads the Friars. Dunn averages 15.5 ppg, and is tops on the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg), in assists (156) and steals (52). His 7.4 apg mark leads the Big East, as does his 2.5 spg. Tyler Harris contributes 10.6 ppg for Providence, which checks in toward the bottom of the league rankings in scoring offense at 69.9 ppg.
Georgetown completely dismantled Creighton on the home court of the Bluejays on Saturday. The Hoyas held Creighton to a mere 17.9 percent shooting in the first half, allowing the visitors to take a 28-17 lead into the intermission. The Bluejays could only finish the game shooting a 20.8 percent clip from the field, while Georgetown connected on 50 percent of its shots. D'Vauntes Smith- Rivera scored 24 points to lead the team to victory, while Jabril Trawick added in 15 points with four rebounds. Mikael Hopkins and Isaac Copeland each grabbed a team-best eight boards in the win.
It seems that lately for the Hoyas, any number of players have been able to step up and help lead the team to victory, although Smith-Rivera is typically at the heart of the effort for the Hoyas each game. He leads the team in scoring with 15.6 ppg - good for fifth in the Big East rankings. Joshua Smith is the only other Georgetown player netting a double-digit point total at 12.0 ppg, also chipping in a team-high 6.7 rpg mark. The Hoyas as a unit are scoring 71.9 ppg (third in the conference) and are holding opponents to 64.4 ppg (fourth in the league) on 39.2 percent shooting from the floor.