The Friars (16-9, 6-6) coughed up a second half lead in an eventual 83-71 loss to Georgetown Monday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. With the loss, the Friars dropped their third straight game, falling into the middle of the pack in the Big East.
Providence started slow in the first half, with Bryce Cotton only freeing himself up for one shot. However, in the last 6:30 of the first half, it was the Cotton show. The senior guard drained 19 points in the final stages of the half, including an improbable three at the buzzer. After trailing for much of the opening half, the Friars pulled ahead to take a 36-32 lead at the break. Tyler Harris kept the Friars hanging around early, scoring seven points in the first 10 minutes after struggling mightily the last two games.
In the second half, the Hoyas just wouldn’t go away, ultimately tying the game 54-54 with 8:29 remaining. From there, Georgetown stifled the Friars offensively, forcing miss after miss, allowing themselves to run away with the game.
Foul trouble haunted the Friars throughout the game with Kadeem Batts, LaDontae Henton, and Harris all getting in foul trouble early. As a result, Henton scored his first point near the midway point of the second half.
Cotton paced the Friars with a game-high 31 points and five assists. Batts also had a solid game for the Friars, chipping in with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Georgetown’s second half offensive explosion was led by D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who poured in a team-high 22 points including key makes down the stretch. Markel Starks had a solid game for the Hoyas, posting 14 points, three rebounds, and four assists.
The Friars will look to get off the schneid on Saturday, when they host DePaul at the Dunk at 2:00 p.m. Providence will look to take advantage of a depleted DePaul team, as it was announced Monday that the Blue Demon’s best player, Cleveland Melvin, has left the team. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.