PC survives Bears in OT
Cartwright saves Friars in second half, overtime
PROVIDENCE – Last week, Providence basketball head coach Ed Cooley questioned whether the Friars had the necessary grit to be a good team.
Apparently, Kyron Cartwright was listening. The senior point guard didn’t start the game due to a sore ankle, but he was on the floor when it counted the most as PC held off upset-minded Brown, 77-72, in overtime on Wednesday night.
“I don’t think we played well. We played well enough to win. We have to find out who we are as a team,” said Cooley. “Our identity is in shambles. I’m happy we won, but right now, we’re not the team we want to be in order to compete in the Big East.”
Cartwright checked in at the 9:38 mark of the second half and didn’t come off the floor the rest of the contest. That might have been the most important development on a night when neither Maliek White (knee) or Alpha Diallo (ankle) finished the game for the Friars (7-2).
Cartwright hit two free throws with 13.1 seconds left in overtime that helped seal the deal. Those were his only points on the night, but it was clear that Providence was a rejuvenated lot after he checked in. Rodney Bullock led the Friars with 21 points and was one of five players on his team to score in double figures.
Making his first start, freshman Makai Ashton-Langford finished with 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Brown (4-5) received 19 points apiece from Brandon Anderson and Desmond Cambridge.
The Friars held a 67-63 lead with 44.9 seconds left in regulation but couldn’t close out the Bears. Aturnover by Cartwright led to two free throws to bring Brown to within two with 28.1 seconds left. After Ashton-Langford went 1-for-2 at the line, the Bears tied the game at 68 behind a three-point play by Tamenang Choh with 15.6 seconds left. The Friars had a chance to win it right before the horn, but Jalen Lindsey missed a three from the far corner.
PC took the lead for good in the extra session behind a layup by Ashton-Langford that made it 71-70 with 2:56 left. Two makes at the line by Bullock stretched the advantage to three points with just over one minute left.
The Bears led wire-to-wire in the first half en route to gliding into the break with an impressive 40-28 lead. Besides dealing with Cartwright’s early-game unavailability, Cooley also had to juggle his lineup after AshtonLangford and Diallo ran into foul trouble. Diallo’s case was a bit more severe as he missed the final 4:49 of the half with three personals.
Brown’s biggest lead was 15 points, which came in the opening minute of the second half. Cooley opted to go with a small lineup as neither Kalif Young nor Nate Watson saw the floor in the second half or in overtime. The result was a more dialed-in effort on the defensive end that helped PC string together a 17-5 run to cut Brown’s lead to 52-51 with 10 minutes left.
When White went down and needed assis- tance to get off the court, Cartwright got up, walked behind the bench and said something to assistant coach Ivan Thomas. Cartwright had that look that suggested he desperately wanted in. With the Friars in a now-or-never predicament, Cartwright checked in and helped save the day.
Dajour Dickens, PC’s seven-foot freshman, sat out his fifth straight game Wednesday. On a Friar team in the season’s early going has relied heavily on two firstyear players in Ashton-Langford and Watson, Dickens has appeared in just three games and been on the court for a grand total of 10 minutes.
Physically, Dickens is not dealing with an injury. Given his limited playing time to date, it’s clear the youngster from Virginia still has plenty of room to grow before becoming a regular staple in Cooley’s rotation.
“He’s a little bit behind as far as physicality. Athletically, he can still change the game and bother people,” said Cooley. “Dajour is still in the developmental stage where it’s taking him longer than the other guys.”
RIM RATTLERS: PC’s Isaiah Jackson ended a five-game scoreless drought with a first-half jump shot. He was the Friar who fouled the Bears’ Choh on the three-point play that tied the game late in regulation. That was Jackson’s fifth foul as he finished with four points and two rebounds. The junior forward now has eight points in the past seven games after totaling 22 points in the season’s opening two games. … Wednesday marked the 124th all-time meeting between the Friars and Bears. PC now leads the series, 96-28. … Big East teams entered Wednesday’s action with a combined 65-16 (.802) record.
Maliek White (4) above and Providence College overcame a halftime deficit to Brandon Anderson (2) and Brown Wednesday night to beat the cross-city rivals in overtime. The banged-up Friars head to Amherst Saturday afternoon to face UMass.
PC sophomore guard Drew Edwards (25) battles against Brown defenders in the first half of Providence’s come-from-behind victory over the Bears in overtime Wednesday night at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center.