#11 Providence Friars 72 (24-3)
Creighton Bluejays 51 (19-9)
It was going to be hard for Creighton to go on the road to beat Providence without stud Freshman point guard Ryan Nemhard anyway, but do try and do so on Senior Night at The Dunk with the Friars first ever Big East regular season championship on the line, was going to be next to impossible. The Friars were able to stick the first feather of the year in their cap, winning the very first Big East Regular in the 43 years the team has been a member of the Big East Conference.
A.J. Reeves exploded into flames for the Friars, hitting 7 threes en route to a game-high 23 points, his second highest scoring game of the season (24 vs. Vermont). It was somewhat poetic for Reeves to hit 7 threes in his last game at The Dunk after he hit 7 threes in his first game there during his Freshman year. There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, and everything in-between for Reeves college career, so it was extra rewarding to see him go off on his farewell game in from of Frairtown.
- A.J. Reeves.
- The Friars are a different team with a much higher ceiling when A.J. Reeves is shooting like this. Reeves was 7/10 from three, finishing with 23 points, and looking like he was having the most fun he’s ever had on a basketball court.
- From starting his career with 7 made threes to ending his career with 7 made threes, everything came full circle for the Friars mainstay. In his last 4 games, Reeves has connected on 16 of 29 three-pointers, good for 55.2%. An A.J. Reeves with confidences coming around a screen at the three-point line is something scary to behold and if he’s shooting like this, the defense is going to have to start to shade on those screens a bit, opening up things down low for Watson.
- Al Durham still looks to be nursing his injury a little bit and can be seen grimacing at times throughout the game but there was no way he was going to let Ed Cooley keep him out of a game with a chance to win his first conference title.
- Durham went for 12 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals and that was with missing a few bunnies in the beginning of the game. I’m guessing with the crowd being nuts and so much on the line that adrenaline was turned up a notch to start things off.
- What Nate Watson gave up to Creighton big man Ryan Kalkbrenner in height, he made up for in muscle. Kalkbrenner was able to block a few close shot attempts from Watson but Nate’s persistence and physicality were able to give him an edge in the matchup at times as well.
- Watson finished with 12 points on 6/14 shooting with 5 rebounds.
- With Reeves going off, a couple of other guys were able to take a backseat in the scoring department to focus on other aspects of the game to help the team. Noah Horchler grabbed 9 rebounds, Justin Minaya snagged 11, and Jared Bynum dished out 7 assists with 5 rebounds. There were contributions up and down the roster with a full team game on display.
- Ed Croswell came off the bench to his have typical uber-efficient game. On a perfect 3/3 from the field, Croswell scored 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal in 15 minutes of action. That has become the norm for Croswell in most games this season. He doesn’t miss shots, grabs boards by the bushel, and chimes in with handful of additional winning plays.
- He may have also been the happiest person I’ve ever seen in my life during the celebrations. Non-stop smile from ear to ear.
- Is there a better way to finish off Senior Night than with an Andrew Fonts bucket? I think not.
- The crowd, once again, was magnificent, and really leaned into the ‘luckiness’ of the team this season.
- Here is just a bunch of awesome things from the celebrations after the conference title securing win.
Next Up, World Domination.
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