PC Advances to Big East Championship With Epic 75-72 Win Over Xavier

Saturday, March 10, 2018
GoLocalProv Sports Team

Kyron Cartwright
The Providence College Friars are headed to the Big East Championship game after beating top-seeded Xavier 75-72 in an epic semifinal game on Friday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. 

It will be PC's first appearance in the conference title game since winning the championship in 2014. 

The Friars will play Villanova in the Big East Championship game on Saturday night. 

Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

Friars Hold on in OT 

The Friars trailed 70-68 in the overtime period before scoring five straight points capped off by a Kyron Cartwright jump shot to take a 73-70 lead with 57 seconds left to play.

Xavier cut PC’s lead to one, 73-72, with 40 seconds left before Providence held on.

With 12 seconds left, PC’s Isaiah Jackson missed a layup and Xavier’s Kaiser Gates came down with a rebound and pushed the ball ahead to J.P. Macura.

On Macura’s drive to the basket, Cartwright stepped in and drew a charge to give the Friars the ball back.

After the inbounds, PC’s Alpha Diallo was sent to the free throw line and knocked down two shots to put the Friars up 75-72 with six seconds left.

The Musketeers had one more possession, but were not able to get a shot off in time.

PC was led by Rodney Bullock and Alpha Diallo, who each poured in 17 points.

Cartwright had 15 points in the game, 12 of which came in the second half.

  • Guard

    Kyron Cartwright -  Senior 

    Kyron Cartwright was ranked as the sixth-best guard in the country and the second-best guard in the Big East by CBS Sports. 

    He was also named to the preseason All-Big East second team at Big East media day. 

    "Kyron is the fastest player in the Big East, he can distribute the ball, he was 4th in the league in assists last season, so he can make things happen," said Hassett. 

    In 2016-17, Cartwright averaged 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in the regular season helping the Friars to a third-place finish in the conference. 

    He finished the season ranked fourth in the country and first in the Big East with 6.7 assists per game. 

    Coming into this season, Cartwright is tied with John Linehan with 450 career assists. He has a chance to climb as high as second all-time and pass Ernie DeGregorio who recorded 662 career assists. 

    Vincent Council is number one with 725 career assists. 

  • Guard

    Alpha Diallo - Sophomore 

    Alpha Diallo will look to build off a freshman season in which he started 16 games for the Friars.

    He averaged 5.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and one steal in 21 minutes of action per game. At the end of the year, the team named him the Marvin Barnes Defensive Player of the Year. 

    Diallo started his freshman season coming off the bench and playing inconsistent minutes through the first eight games. 

    By PC's fifth Big East Conference game, he was in the starting lineup and would stay there. 

    Diallo finished the season reaching double figures in five of the Friars final 12 games, including 18 points against both Villanova and St. John's. 

  • Guard

    Jalen Lindsey - Senior

    Jalen Lindsey has missed the entire preseason with a knee injury. 

    Lindsey returned to practice on Wednesday and will be a game-time decision for Friday, according to Cooley. 

    If Lindsey can't go, senior Isaiah Jackson will take his place in the starting lineup. 

    Last season with PC, Lindsey averaged 10.4 points, four rebounds and one steal in 31 minutes of action per game. 

    He also shot 46% from three. 

  • Forward

    Rodney Bullock - Senior 

    Rodney Bullock returns to the Friars this season after testing the NBA Draft waters last March, before pulling his name out. 

    Prior to the start of this season, Bullock was named second-team all-Big East. 

    "With Rodney Bullock, he has to be consistent. He has to come out and give it to you every night. With this team, there is no reason why he shouldn't average 17 points and get 8-10 rebounds per game. He has to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor," said Hassett. 

    In 2016-17, Bullock led Providence in scoring and rebounding with an average of 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. 

    He also led PC with five double-doubles on the year and scored at least 20 points in nine games, including a career-high 36 points against New Hampshire. 

    In PC’s NCAA Tournament game against USC, Bullock poured in 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. 

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