Providence pulls out road victory against No. 24 Georgetown
Providence was in deep trouble against No. 24 Georgetown, and then it clawed all the way back to a big road win.
This is one confident bunch of Friars.
Ben Bentil had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Providence rallied for a 74-71 victory over Georgetown on Wednesday night.
LaDontae Henton scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half for the Friars (17-6, 7-3 Big East), who also beat the Hoyas 60-57 on Jan. 10. Carson Desrosiers finished with 14 points.
"Since last season, no lead is safe against us," Desrosiers said. "We know we'll battle back."
Providence used a 20-6 run to take a 66-65 lead. The lead changed hands four times in the final 1:51.
Desrosiers' two free throws put the Friars ahead 72-71 with 32 seconds left.
"I've been there before and you have to make those," said Desrosiers, a fifth-year senior.
Georgetown (15-7, 7-4) then turned the ball over while inbounding under the Friars' basket with 11 seconds left.
Bentil's two free throws made it 74-71, and a 3-point attempt by Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera rolled around the rim and out with two seconds remaining.
The Friars shot 57.9 percent in the second half, finishing at 53.5 percent (23 for 43) for the game. They also went 12 for 13 at the line in the second half.
Providence, winners of four of five, had lost 31 straight road games against ranked teams dating to 2004.
Georgetown was held without a field goal after Smith-Rivera's 3-pointer with 7:41 left.
"We didn't take care of the ball. We can't go through stretches where we aren't getting shots," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "They did a good job of playing the passing lanes, we didn't hold onto the ball a lot of times, but you have to give their defense credit."
Smith-Rivera finished with 21 points.
Kris Dunn, the conference's reigning player of the week, had 12 points and nine assists for Providence.
Georgetown opened a double-digit lead midway through the second half.
With the Friars trailing 59-46 with just under 12 minutes to play, Henton hit a 3-pointer that sparked the big run for Providence.
"LaDontae Henton basically was playing for Georgetown for about 20 minutes today and I love him to death," Friars coach Ed Cooley joked afterward.
Much of the rally came with Dunn, who was battling a sore back, on the bench with four fouls.
"I was proud of our group. Especially when Kris came out and we had those three freshmen in the game," Cooley said. "In particular, Ben ... wow did he grow up today."
Desrosiers capped the big run with a pair of baskets in the lane, pushing Providence to its first lead of the half with 4:37 remaining.
Desrosiers' two free throws gave Providence a 68-66 advantage at the 3:46 mark, and neither team scored until the Friars were whistled for a foul and a dead ball technical with 1:51 left.
Georgetown went 6 for 12 from 3-point range in the first half and led 41-38 at the break.
Providence: Henton set a new Friar record with his 123rd career start. He also took sole possession of sixth place on Providence's scoring list with 1,855 points. He began the day tied with Marvin Barnes.
Georgetown: The Hoyas had won seven straight home games against the Friars. ... Smith-Rivera has made two or more 3-pointers in nine straight games.
Dunn was limited by foul trouble and his sore back, but went 3 for 5 from the field and 5 for 9 at the line while playing 30 minutes. He also had six steals.
"He was really, really tight when he walked in the building today and they loosened him up," Cooley said. "I really want to credit our staff. Our trainer did a great job because he hadn't practiced for two days."
Providence visits Xavier on Saturday.
Georgetown visits Villanova on Saturday.