NCAA Basketball

Final 1 2 Tot
27 44 71
30 22 52
9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Feb 6, 2022
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 5,575

Lucky and good, No. 15 Providence aims for more success vs. skidding Hoyas

It's better to be lucky than good, the old saying goes. But how about being both? That's been the formula for No. 15 Providence.

Projected to finish seventh in the Big East by the league's coaches, the Friars are on an enchanted carpet ride, leading the conference largely because of their remarkable ability to perform in the clutch. They are 13-0 in games decided by 10 or fewer points. The Friars don't overwhelm anyone. They just win.

On Sunday, Providence (19-2, 9-1) will try to extend two streaks, its own six-game run and the program-record 10-game skid of last-place Georgetown (6-14, 0-9), when the teams meet in Washington D.C.

On the analytics website, the Friars are ranked No. 1 in the nation in luck, a metric which quantifies the difference between actual and expected record, given a team's offensive and defensive efficiency.

After Providence topped Xavier on a 3-pointer with 1 second left by Jared Bynum on Jan. 26, coach Ed Cooley jokingly embraced the tag.

"We're a really lucky team," he said. "So you know what? We'll continue to be lucky and try to win the next game."

The Friars' extraordinary experience has helped them excel at the end of games. Of its top seven scorers, four are grad students, two are seniors and Bynum is a redshirt junior.

The Friars' finishing touch was evident in their last victory, 86-82 Tuesday at St. John's. The Red Storm led with 3:10 to play, but Bynum hit a 3-pointer to trigger an eight-point Providence run. Over the last 26 seconds, Al Durham sewed it up going 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.

Afterward, Cooley compared Durham, who started for three-plus years at Indiana, to a great closer in another sport.

"I love baseball and I'm a big Mariano Rivera fan," Cooley said. "You know, when he came in the game, it was just lights out. To have somebody who can make free throws down the stretch like that in this kind of environment, I mean that's priceless."

Two days later, St. John's traveled to Washington, D.C. and handed Georgetown a 90-77 defeat, extending the Hoyas' streak of futility to double-digits the longest in the 116-year history of the program.

Playing a Big East game for the first time since 1984 in their on-campus bandbox gym, the Hoyas hoped for a change of luck. But the Red Storm pulled away in the second half despite Donald Carey's career-high 23 points.

Georgetown's top scorer and rebounder, freshman Aminu Mohammed made just 1 of 13 shots, matching his career low with four points.

"I'm very confident in him. He's a warrior," Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said. "He's got to learn when they have size on him what to do. They're coming over to collapse on him. Sometimes he's got to make the pass. Sometimes he's got to make the shot."

That broke a streak of six consecutive double-figure scoring performances for Mohammed.

Two weeks ago, these teams met at Providence. Carey and Kaiden Rice made a combined 10 of 16 shots from beyond the arc for Georgetown, but the Friars still won, 83-75.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 4, 2022

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