Game Recap: Friars Beat Creighton 72-68 in OT in Big East Tournament Quarterfinals

Providence Friars 72 (20-12)

Creighton Bluejays 68 (21-11) OT


The Friars entered the Quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament in New York’s Madison Square Garden with an opportunity to cement themselves a spot in the NCAA tourney with a potential win against a Creighton team that has been listed as a lock for the Big Dance in March.

Providence entered as the 5 seed in the tournament and Creighton as the 4 seed.  The teams split their conference matchups with each team winning their home games.

Alpha Diallo had a put-back lay-up with 12 seconds left in regulation to force overtime against the Bluejays and it was Kyron Cartwright how finished them off in the 5 minutes of extra-time, scoring 5 of his 13 points to give the Friars the win and some breathing room come Selection Sunday.

The Friars are now in the conference semifinals for the 4th time in the last 5 years.

Game Notes:

  • The Friars didn’t have a particularly good night shooting the ball, shooting just 36.9% from the floor, 22.7% from three, and 61.3% from the line but they did score timely buckets and got stops with the game on the line.
  • Alpha Diallo was the only starter to shoot better than 50% from the floor, going 7 for 14 for a game-high 19 points.  There’s something that gets into Diallo when he returns home to New York City to play on the big stage.  Alpha scored 15 of his 19 points in the 2nd half of the game.
  • Diallo fell one rebound shy of a double-double (9) and led the team with 3 assists, including this impressive find to a cutting Kalif Young on a wrap-around where he couldn’t even see the big guy.
  • Not to go without mentioning that the finish by Young was some aerobatic stuff.
  • That was Kalif’s only shot and bucket of the night as he only saw the floor for 4 minutes as the Friars went small.
  • Due to Cooley’s decision to play small-ball, Nate was limited to 4 minutes as well.
  • We’ve all seen Kyron Cartwright’s spin cycle in full effect, but this is the first time we’ve seen the double spin cycle.
  • Throughout the 2nd half, Cartwright’s effort and leadership wouldn’t let this team be put away.  He was 1 of 4 players to play more than 40 minutes in the game and the Friars needed every single one of them.
  • Kyron Cartwright scored the biggest buckets when they Friars needed them the most down the stretch.  He scored 5 of his 13 total points in overtime including this MASSIVE bucket with the game on the line in OT.
  • The Friars out-rebounded the Bluejays 45-39.
  • Usually when the Friars have more turnovers than assists, they don’t win that game.  Providence finished with only 8 assists as a team compared to 13 turnovers.  That can’t really happen again if PC wants to beat the best teams in the conference.
  • Maliek got the surprise start in place of a natural big in Kalif or Nate.
  • Maliek was unable to get things going offensively in the game but I did like the mixing of the starting lineup by Cooley nonetheless.
  • Jalen Lindsey was just 2-9 from deep and 4-14 overall for 11 points but was a monster on the boards, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds for just his 2nd career double-double.
  • Rodney Bullock was solid all-around, scoring 13 points and tallying 8 rebounds.  But maybe most impressively, he had all 3 of Providence’s blocks in the game including this sick swat against Marcus Foster on a meeting at the rim.
  • Isaiah Jackson was another guy who struggled getting shots to fall all game going 2-9 from the floor but bullying his way to 9 points and 9 rebounds in 28 minutes.
  • Post-Game photo winner…obviously Big Nate.  This might have been the easiest choice of the entire season.


  • There was a play near the end of regulation where a ball went out of bounds off a rebound that both Khyri Thomas and Isaiah Jackson were going for.  The initial touch was almost simultaneous between the two but then Thomas tried to save the ball out of bounds, jumping from out of bounds, and hitting the ref with the ball with the attempted save.  The refs took about 5 minutes to review the play after initially calling it Providence ball and somehow overturned the call to give Creighton possession.  Creighton came down and scored to tie the game and that terrible call could have potentially sent Providence to the NIT with a loss.  Thankfully we have Alpha Diallo and Kyron Cartwright on our team.  But take a look at this joke of a call.
  • It’s so obvious that it hurts.  I mean, come on.


  •  You could hear the Friars chants in the TV broadcast of the game which was pretty damn cool.
  • Here’s a recap from arrival to finish to get you in the mood for Friday Night and a matchup with the #1 Big East Tournament Seeded Xavier Musketeers.


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