College Basketball

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Providence (10-4) at (11) Villanova (12-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 5, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: The Pavilion (6,500) -- Villanova, Pennsylvania. Television: FS1. Home Record: Providence 7-1, Villanova 7-0. Away Record: Providence 1-1, Villanova 2-1. Neutral Record: Providence 2-2, Villanova 3-0. Conference Record: Providence 0-1, Villanova 1-0. Series Record: Villanova leads, 52-37.

GAME NOTES: After both teams battled in overtime in their Big East Conference openers, the 11th-ranked Villanova Wildcats and Providence Friars will see who has something left in the tank when they meet at The Pavilion on Sunday night.

The Friars have suffered a pair of overtime defeats in their last two games, most recently falling to Seton Hall, 81-80, in two extra sessions. The two- game skid comes on the heels of a three-game win streak for Providence, which is 10-4 overall and set to host Georgetown next.

Villanova faced a feisty Butler squad on the road last time out and escaped with a 76-73 win in overtime. The win allowed the Wildcats to bounce back from their first loss of the season, a 78-62 stumble at Syracuse. They are now 12-1 overall, including 7-0 at home. However, a trip to Seton Hall is next on the schedule.

These are two teams from the original Big East, which was reshuffled this past offseason. The rivalry has been mostly dominated by Villanova, which has won 52 of the previous 89 meetings. However, the Friars swept the season series a season ago, and have won three of the last four overall.

In a game that featured 11 ties and 16 lead changes, Providence fell behind for the final time against Seton Hall when Sterling Gibbs nailed a pair of free-throws with four seconds to play in a second overtime. Bryce Cotton scored a game-high 25 points for the Friars, but he was guilty of the foul on Gibbs in that deciding possession.

Other than Creighton's Doug McDermott, no player in the Big East is scoring more than Cotton (19.9 ppg, 5.6 apg) this season. The 6-foot-1 guard has tallied at least 20 points in four straight games and is also showing more skill as a passer, currently averaging better than three assists per game above his career average. The real strength for the Friars lies in the frontcourt, where LaDontae Henton (12.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Kadeem Batts (12.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Tyler Harris (14.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) do the bulk of their damage. Harris managed 22 points and nine boards and Henton added 12 points and seven rebounds against Seton Hall, but Batts had only six points on 1-of-8 shooting before fouling out.

Villanova was also in a back-and-forth game against Butler, a matchup that featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes. The Wildcats made sure to set the tone in the extra sessions though, using a 5-0 burst to open the frame to take control for good.

Despite some less-than-stellar shooting (.448 FG percentage), Villanova has done pretty well for itself at the offensive end of the court this season. The Wildcats are second in the Big East in both scoring (80.5 ppg) and assists (16.3 apg). They also do fine work on the boards, where they lead the conference (40.1 pg). Defensively speaking, coach Jay Wright's team is tough to top, holding foes to 65.8 ppg and 38.9 percent shooting. JayVaughon Pinkston (15.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and James Bell (15.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) are the top scoring threats, although Darrun Hilliard (13.7 ppg, 3.2 apg) cannot be ignored. Pinkston finished with a game-high 22 points against Butler, and Hilliard had 15.

Even though the Wildcats are not as formidable in the frontcourt as Providence, their advantage in guard play will shine through in this contest and afford them a comfortable win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Villanova 72, Providence 61

01/05 10:41:06 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
Final
OAK 4
HOU 3
Final
PIT 7
MIL 8
Final
NYM 5
ATL 7
Final
TAM 16
NYY 1
Final
MIA 7
SEA 0
Final
TEX 6
CWS 3
Final
LOS 8
ARI 6
Final
COL 3
PHI 1
Final
SDP 3
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
SEA
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
3:05pm Today
TEX
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
Final
LAC 105
GSW 109
Final
IND 93
ATL 101
Final
OKC 100
MEM 86
1:00pm Today
SAN
DAL
3:30pm Today
MIA
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
PIT 3
CLB 4
Final
COL 4
MIN 2
12:00pm Today
NYR
PHI
3:00pm Today
BOS
DET
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TAM
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
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