Providence at Boston College
When: 4:00 PM ET, Friday, December 23, 2016
Where: Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass
CHESTNUT HILL – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by Sports Xchange) – Providence is streaking toward conference play, while Boston College may not be ready for ACC action when it rolls around. The two squads have their final non-conference tune-up before league play begins when the Friars visit the Eagles on Friday in the 111th meeting between the old rivals.
Providence’s win streak is at six games after Tuesday’s 79-59 win over Maine at home, which marked the eighth time this season that coach Ed Cooley’s Friars have held an opponent to 60 points or fewer. Junior forward Emmitt Holt’s second double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) led the way for Providence, which entered Thursday ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (58.9) and will be facing a Boston College unit that has dropped five of eight, including three to low- or mid-major conference opponents in that span. Despite a breakout game for freshman guard Ky Bowman (33 points, eight rebounds, five assists), the Eagles fell 89-83 to Fairfield on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Cooley was an assistant at Boston College from 1997 to 2006 – helping guide the program to five NCAA Tournament appearances – and he is 3-2 against the Eagles since taking over at Providence (0-2 at Boston College).
TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT PROVIDENCE (10-2): Leading scorer Rodney Bullock (19.1) topped the Friars with 17 points in last season’s 66-51 win over the Eagles at home, but he has been held to eight points in each of his last two games while shooting a combined 5-for-21. His scoring has not been required, however, as Holt and others have picked up the slack, with sophomore Ryan Fazekas stepping up with 12 points in 16 minutes against Maine. Guard Jalen Lindsey is averaging 13 points in the last seven games and fellow junior Kyron Cartwright is fourth in the country with 7.8 assists per contest.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (6-6): Bowman had been hinting at the performance he had against the Stags, having scored at least 12 points in his previous two outings after seeing a dramatic uptick in minutes. Leading scorer Jerome Robinson (20.5) did his thing with 21 points and the Eagles shot 50 percent, but 16 turnovers and a lackluster defensive effort prompted coach Jim Christian to once again plead for an increase in intensity. “I was just disappointed in our effort,” Christian told reporters. “We let them get going early. Our defensive effort, individually, collectively, was just awful all night.”
1. Providence begins its Big East schedule Wednesday at Xavier while Boston College hosts Syracuse in its ACC opener Jan. 1.
2. Lindsey has six turnovers in 337 minutes this season.
3. Robinson is averaging 25.3 points on 51.9 percent shooting and 3.7 steals over his last three games.