PC sur­vives Bears in OT

Cartwright saves Fri­ars in sec­ond half, over­time

Woonsocket Call - - Sports - By BREN­DAN McGAIR bm­c­[email protected]­tuck­et­times.com

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.

Pho­tos by Ernest A. Brown

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.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

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.

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