The Providence College men's basketball team defeated St. John's, 74-57, in the BIG EAST Championship Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 12 at Madison Square Garden. The margin of victory (17 points) was the Friars' largest in a BIG EAST Tournament game since 2002-03, when they defeated West Virginia, 72-50.
For the game, four Providence players scored in double digits, including three Friars who recorded double-doubles. The last time three players registered double-doubles in a Friar game was Nov. 10, 2010, when the Marshon Brooks, Bilal Dixon and Vincent Council accomplished the feat versus Prairie View.
Senior forward LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) led all scorers with 20 points and 12 rebounds, marking his sixth double-double of the season and 18th game of the year with 20 or more points. Freshman Ben Bentil (Wilmington, Del.) registered 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while sophomore Kris Dunn (New London, Conn.) tallied 17 points and 11 assists. It was Bentil's fourth double-double of the year and Dunn's seventh.
Junior Tyler Harris (Dix Hills, N.Y.) was the fourth Friar to reach double-figures in scoring, with 15 points.
St. John's started out the game with a 7-0 lead that concluded after D'Angelo Harrison hit a three-pointer at the 17:10 mark. Providence answered with an 18-0 run to take an 18-7 lead. The Red Storm stopped the Friars' run with four-straight free throws to make the game, 18-11. Providence then scored 10-straight points for a 28-11 lead. St. John's did not register a field goal from the 17:10 mark until 7:02 left to play in the half. SJU's only points were the four-straight from the foul line.
The first half ended with a 13 point Friar lead, 40-27. Henton led all scorers in the first half with 11 points. Dunn and Harris scored nine points each. Providence went four for seven on three-point field goals, going 57 percent. The largest lead of the half was 18 points for the Friars and came with 4:25 left (37-19). Providence finished the half shooting 47 percent from the floor (14-for-30) while St. John's shot just 27 percent (8-for-30).
St. John's opened up the second half cutting the Friars' lead to eight points, 42-34, at the 17:28 mark. Later on in the game, the Friars went on a 10-0 run to bring their lead to 21 points (61-40), their largest lead of the game, with 8:04 left. For the rest of the contest, the Friars did not let their lead dip below 12 points.
The Red Storm was led by Rysheed Jordan who had 18 points.
Overall, Providence shot 40 percent (25-of-62) from the floor and held St. John's to 31 percent (18-of-58). The Friars held a 17-6 advantage in points off of turnovers and a 17-7 edge in second chance points.
With Henton's point total in the game, he moves into third place at Providence in all-time scoring with 2,032 points, passing Eric Murdock (2,021).
Providence has now won four straight BIG EAST Tournament games dating back to last year's Championship Tournament run. The last time the Friars won four straight game was the 1993-94 season to the 1994-95 season, after the Friars won the BIG EAST tournament in 1994.
The Friars will play in the BIG EAST Championship Semifinals at 7:00 p.m. against 4th-ranked and No. 1 seed Villanova at Madison Square Garden
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