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Providence rallies to beat No. 24 Georgetown

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Updated 10 months ago on
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WASHINGTON — The Providence Friars went over a decade without defeating a ranked team on the road. It appeared the unwanted steak would continue midway through the second half against the Georgetown Hoyas. That is until the Friars found a winning formula even with their injured floor leader in foul trouble while the Hoyas faded away.

Freshman forward Ben Bentil had 16 points and 11 rebounds as Providence rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half for a 74-71 win over No. 24 Georgetown on Wednesday night.

Forward LaDontae Henton scored 16 points and guard Kris Dunn had 12 points, nine assists and six steals for the Friars (17-6, 7-3), who entered 0-31 on the road against ranked opponents since 2004.

Georgetown (15-7, 7-4) went the final 7:41 without a field goal and committed 15 turnovers overall. The Hoyas lost two straight home games.

Guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 21 points and made five 3-pointers for the Hoyas but his game-tying attempt in the final seconds rimmed out. Forward Isaac Copeland had 10 points.

Georgetown entered Wednesday tied with Butler in the Big East, percentage points behind first-place Villanova and one-half game ahead of Providence.

Providence, which won the first meeting at home last month, outscored Georgetown 22-7 after trailing 59-46 with 11:41 remaining. Most of the surge took place with their floor leader watching from the bench with four fouls. Dunn also played with a back injury that kept him out of practice the past two days.

“When a talent like Kris Dunn goes off the floor, you’re just hoping your young kids have gone through enough games to weather a storm against a great team,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “Their energy was good. LaDonatae was able to get loose for a couple of baskets. The game kind of got haywire. Big East basketball.”

The lead changed sides four times on free throws in the final 1:51. Friars forward Carson Desrosiers scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half, including two free throws with 32 seconds left for a 72-71 lead.

Georgetown freshman guard L.J. Peak inbounded the ball under Providence’s basket with 11 seconds remaining. Dunn tipped the pass for his sixth steal, leading to Bentil’s two free throws with 10 seconds left for a 74-71 lead.

“Isaac popped out, they denied him,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of the inbounds pass. “Everybody stood and watched instead of moving to get open.”

Providence scored 20 points off Georgetown’s turnovers. That formula also led to the Friars’ Hoyas 60-57 in overtime on Jan. 10 in Providence.

“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Thompson said. “We can’t go through stretches where we aren’t getting shots. They did a good job playing the passing lanes.”

Center Joshua Smith had 10 points before fouling out in the final minute for the Hoyas. Guard Tre Campbell also scored 10 points.

Henton, the Big East’s leading scorer, added 10 in the second half.

Providence shot 53.5 percent from the field against a Georgetown defense that led the Big East in defensive field goal percentages. The Friars zone schemes held the Hoyas to 42.6 percent.

“I think we defended pretty well today,” Smith-Rivera said, “but at key moments we got lackadaisical.”

Both offenses performed better early in the rematch. Copeland scored eight straight points as the Hoyas led 34-26, but they fell behind after a Dunn-fueled 9-0 run before entering halftime back on top.

Smith-Rivera scored 11 points. His third 3-pointer of the half in the final seconds put Georgetown ahead 41-38 despite eight points, eight assists and four steals by Dunn.

The Hoyas sank 6 of 12 3-pointers in the opening half. They were 4 of 17 against the Friars’ zone defense last month in Providence.

“Man, there are a lot of different things you can talk about that game,” Cooley said. “It was kind of three games in one. Very emotional.”

NOTES: F LaDontae Henton broke the Friars record for career starts at 123. … Providence plays its third straight road game on Saturday at Xavier. F LaDontae Henton and G Kris Dunn had 24 and 20 points, respectively, against the Musketeers in a 69-66 overtime win in Providence on Jan. 22. … Georgetown faces No.

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