Seton Hall-Providence Preview
Kris Dunn saved Providence at the end of another woeful offensive performance, giving the Friars a split of two games they would probably like to forget.
Dunn and the 12th-ranked Friars will try to break out of their shooting funk Saturday while trying for a fifth consecutive win over a Seton Hall team trudging through a rough stretch of schedule.
Dunn's fadeaway jumper at the buzzer lifted Providence to a 50-48 victory over Creighton on Tuesday as it was again plagued by poor shooting. The Friars (15-2, 3-1 Big East) hit 29.6 percent - their worst performance from the field in more than a year - after making 37.3 percent in a 65-64 loss to Marquette on Jan. 5.
Dunn and Providence warmed up after making 17.9 percent in the first half - the team's worst effort in a half since posting a 16.7 mark after the break in a 58-38 loss to Kentucky on Nov. 30, 2014.
The star guard scored 16 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as the Friars climbed out of an early 12-point hole.
Leading scorer Ben Bentil struggled with 13 points - more than six below his average - and a 4-of-12 shooting effort, but Providence continued to shine defensively, holding an opponent to 67 or fewer points for the seventh time in eight games.
"We didn't score a lot of points. Both teams were in it. But we were able at the end of the game," associate head coach Andre LaFleur said. "We had our leadership. This guy right here (Dunn) we think is the best in the country, and he came through and put us on his back with Ben."
Providence coach Ed Cooley was on the sideline despite another bout with vertigo.
The Friars have won six of seven meetings with Seton Hall, which is in the midst of playing four of five against ranked opponents.
The Pirates (12-4, 2-2) have dropped the first two of that stretch after falling 82-67 to the Bluejays last Saturday, snapping their eight-game home winning streak. They lost 72-63 to then-No. 11 Villanova on Jan. 6.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead, averaging a team-high 15.1 points, was held to 10 on 4-of-11 shooting against Creighton after scoring 20 against the Wildcats.
Khadeen Carrington had 12 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, the seventh time this season and second in three games that he's scored 10 or more after halftime.
Top reserve Derrick Gordon matched a season high with 14 points to reach double digits for the second time in three games.
Dunn averaged 18 points in two wins over Seton Hall last season and has scored 21.5 over his last four contests. He's shot 46.7 percent during that stretch and 50 percent (10 of 20) on 3-pointers.