|USC||Boatwright: 24||McLaughlin: 10||McLaughlin: 4|
|Providence||Holt: 18||Holt: 11||Cartwright: 7|
- Providence and USC met in Dayton on Wednesday night as part of the First Four of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. This was a re-match of last season’s Second Round game when the teams met in the 8/9 game in Raleigh, NC.
- Ed Cooley called a timeout 57 seconds into the game after the Friars turned it over and missed a layup on their first two possessions and USC scored a layup off the Providence turnover and then Bennie Boatwright sunk a triple to make it 5-0. Providence eventually got on the board after being down 7-0 but Boatwright was off to a hot start. Through the games first 5 minutes Boatwright had 10 of USC’s 12 points and was 2/2 from beyond the arc. He then headed to the bench after the under-16 media timeout and didn’t return until the 11-minute mark, spending nearly 4 minutes on the pine. During that time Providence got back into the game. The Friars got hot shooting from Jalen Lindsey who went 4/7 from beyond the arc and made 3 of 5 free throws for 15 first half points to lead the way for Providence at the half. Provdience’s 15-0 run from 10:32 to 6:08 was the catalyst to put the Friars ahead for the rest of the half. The Trojans also closed the half on a 4:30 field goal drought. Rodney Bullock had 10 points and 5 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of action and Emmitt Holt chipped in 8 points and 6 boards.
- The second half started off slow for both teams but USC used an 8-0 run to cut the Providence lead down to 9. Bullock and Holt scored on consecutive possessions at the rim to put Providence up 13 at the under-16 media timeout at 14:39. However, Bullock’s 3rd foul was the whistle that led to the media break. Boatwright’s hot shooting kept bringing USC back to within single digits as the teams went back and forth. Nick Racovecic did some damage in the paint to cut Providence’s 15 point halftime lead to 5 with just under 10 minutes to go. The Trojans kept rolling and finally took back the lead after being down by as many as 17 with just over 19 minutes left in the second half. Providence’s offense fell into hibernation and their defense slipped as well and USC ultimately controlled the final 4 or 5 minutes of the game to avenge last season’s NCAA Tournament loss.
- Kyron Cartwright scored 9 points and dished out 7 assists.
- Rodney Bullock finished with 17 points after scoring 10 in the first half. He also pulled down 7 rebounds for the game.
- Jalen Lindsey was hot from downtown but did most of his damage in the first half for the Friars. He scored 16 points on 5/11 from the field, including 4/6 from downtown.
- Emmitt Holt notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
- Alpha Diallo scored 8 points on the night.
- Bennie Boatwright led the way for the Trojans. He started hot with 10 of USC’s first 12 points and then hit clutch shots down the stretch to finish with a game-high 24 points. He added 7 rebounds.
- Jordan McLaughlin was excellent for USC. He scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 4 dimes.
- Ed Cooley falls to 1-4 in the NCAA Tournament in his career.
- The Friars now head into the offseason. The focus turns to recruiting and the ins and outs of transfer season.
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