Providence punched its first ticket to the Big East Tournament final since 1994 on Friday night with a back-and-forth 80-74 win over Seton Hall.
The Friars shot 50% in the opening half, leading to a 38-34 edge over the Pirates at halftime. Seton Hall started off hot from the field, but Providence quickly caught up, thanks to a 15 point, six rebound performance by LaDontae Henton in the first half. Providence built a substantial lead, but the Pirates battled back towards the end of the half, with Brian Oliver ultimately hitting a three at the buzzer to make it a four point game.
Henton continued his solid play into the second half, making crucial buckets when Seton Hall would push back. The Pirates just wouldn’t go away down the stretch, getting the ball with 8.7 seconds left down 78-74 after a questionable offensive foul on Bryce Cotton. However, The Friars forced a miss and Josh Fortune collected the rebound and calmly sank two free throws to ice the game.
Henton led the Friars with a monster 26 points and 14 rebounds. Cotton bounced back nicely after struggling against St. John’s, posting 18 points and 10 assists, while Tyler Harris chipped in with 17 points, most coming in the second half.
Fuquan Edwin led the way for Seton Hall, closing out a solid career with 20 points.
The Friars will be back in action tomorrow night at 8:30 pm against Creighton, as the two teams battle for the Big East title. You can catch the game on Fox Sports 1.