Villanova (11-6) at Providence (9-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,410) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: Local, Cox, MSG, MASN. Home Record: VU 6-3, PC 7-2. Away Record: VU 4-2, PC 1-4. Neutral Record: VU 1-1, PC 1-2. Conference Record: VU 2-1, PC 1-4. Series Record: Providence leads, 35-52.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams hoping to rebound from tough losses meet at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Saturday afternoon, as the Providence Friars play host to the Villanova Wildcats in a Big East Conference tussle.
After starting league play with two-straight wins, the Wildcats have dropped consecutive games to Syracuse and most recently, at home to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Villanova would love to grab a win in Providence, since top- ranked Louisville and another matchup with the Orange are the next two games on the schedule.
After going down to Georgetown on Wednesday night in Washington D.C., the Friars have lost six of their last seven outings. Providence's sole win in that stretch was a home victory over Seton Hall.
The Friars own a 35-52 mark all-time versus the Wildcats. PC is 23-16 at home though. In the last meeting between the two, Villanova earned a 74-72 win at the Pavilion on Feb. 7, 2012. In the Friars' most recent win over Villanova, PC earned an 83-68 upset of the eighth-ranked Wildcats in Providence on Jan. 26, 2011.
Villanova hopes to bounce back from a 58-43 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at the Pavilion. The Panthers scored the final 15 points of that contest over the last five minutes. Sophomore Darrun Hilliard was the only VU player to reach double figures with 14 points. The Panthers limited the Wildcats to the fewest points scored on their home court since the Pavilion opened on Feb. 1, 1986.
Villanova is led by sophomore JayVaughn Pinkston, who is averaging 12.9 ppg. Freshman Ryan Archidiacono adds 11.7 ppg, and senior forward Mouphtaou Yarou paces the club in rebounding with 6.2 rpg. The Wildcats are fourth in the Big East in free throw percentage (.719), fifth in rebounding (37.7 rpg) and fourth in 3-point field goals (6.6 per game).
Providence lost at Georgetown, 74-65, on Wednesday. For the Friars it was their fourth loss in league action this season. Junior Bryce Cotton led the way with a game-high 21 points. The Friars trailed by 22 points with 19 minutes remaining. However, the team clawed back and got within seven with 1:29 to go, but could not close the gap. Sophomore LaDontae Henton and junior Kadeem Batts each had a double-double for the Friars, with Henton tallying 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Batts registering 10 points and 11 boards.
Cotton has scored 20 or more points in 12 of the 15 games he has played this season, including 30 points in the Friars' win over UNC Asheville on November 18, and a season-high 33 points versus Boston College on December 22. He leads the team and the conference in scoring, averaging 21.6 ppg. He also ranks seventh in the nation in scoring. Henton leads the Friars in rebounding this season, averaging 8.2 rpg, good enough for third in the Big East. The Friars lead the league in 3-point field goal defense (.271). They are scoring 68.5 ppg and giving up 62.9 ppg.
Expect the Wildcats to regain their offensive touch as they should be able to score in the paint and pull out a solid road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Villanova 67, Providence 62
01/19 10:43:32 ET
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