FACTS & STATS: Site: Prudential Center (10,862) -- Newark, New Jersey. Television: Cox, SNY, Big East Network, MASN. Home Record: Providence 7-2, Seton Hall 8-1. Away Record: Providence 0-3, Seton Hall 3-2. Neutral Record: Providence 1-2, Seton Hall 1-1. Conference Record: Providence 0-3, Seton Hall 1-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 45-45.
GAMES NOTES: The Providence Friars will try to end an extended losing streak and earn their first conference win when they take on the Seton Hall Pirates in a Big East Conference matchup at the Prudential Center.
After a 72-66 loss to No. 7 Syracuse on Wednesday, Providence has now lost five straight games. The recent string of setbacks has dropped the Friars to 8-7 overall, including losses in all three of its league games. This is the first of a two-game road stint for Providence, which has yet to earn an away victory. The next matchup will be on Wednesday against nationally-ranked Georgetown.
Seton Hall has dropped consecutive decisions after a seven-game winning streak. Even after those two losses the Pirates have still managed a solid season thus far at 12-4 overall. The Pirates are just 1-2 against league foes and are coming off their first loss in nine tries at the Prudential Center after being dropped, 73-58, by No. 3 Louisville on Wednesday. The Pirates visit Marquette next.
This is one of the longer rivalries in the Big East with 90 total meetings. That series is tied 45-45 although Seton Hall has won five straight and seven of the last eight matchups.
Providence hung around with Syracuse on Wednesday but didn't have enough offense in the second half to pull off the upset. After leading 33-30 at the break the Friars cooled to 37.5 percent shooting the rest of the way. The Orange dominated the Friars in the paint with a 41-27 edge in rebounds and a 46-25 advantage on points down low.
Pacing the Friars is Big East leading scorer Bryce Cotton (21.5 ppg, 3.3 apg). The 6-foot-1 guard scored 24 points against Syracuse and has now scored at least 20 points in 10 games this season, including a pair of 30-point efforts. Even with Cotton's exploits the Friars have not been an overly successful offensive squad. Providence ranks 12th in the Big East in scoring (68.8 ppg) and 13th in field goal percentage (.430). As a team the Friars have shown some resilience on defense, allowing just 62.7 points per game although in three conference games they have allowed 78.3 points a contest. Providence has a pair of double digit scorers to aid Cotton in LaDontae Henton (15.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Kadeem Batts (15.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg), who anchor the frontline.
Seton Hall also fell apart down the stretch to drop its most recent contest against Louisville. The Pirates trailed by just two points at the break but managed to connect on just 28.6 percent of their field goal attempts in the final 20 minutes. The Pirates were also hurt by 16 turnovers, which turned into 21 points for Louisville.
The Pirates have also seen their defensive numbers rise since entering league play. On the season Seton Hall is allowing 64.4 points per game but in Big East action the Pirates have yet to surrender less than 72 points. That has put some pressure on Seton Hall which ranks near the middle of the conference in scoring at 72.1 points per game, on 45.9 percent shooting. Four different players are scoring in double figures, led by Fuquan Edwin (17.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg), who has also been aggressive on defense, collecting the third most steals in the Big East (2.6 pg). Eugene Teague (12.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Brandon Mobley (10.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) provide sturdy options in the frontcourt and Aaron Cosby (12.6 ppg) is a lethal shooter from long range (.432).
Both of these teams have got off to poor starts in league play in part to the level of competition thus far. Seton Hall was rolling before facing Notre Dame and Louisville and should be able to get back in the win column here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seton Hall 74, Providence 65
01/13 10:31:54 ET
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