The past calendar year has seen the Providence College basketball team rise to new heights and record a number of memorable victories supported by a number of memorable performances. Here is one fan’s look back at some favorite memories from 2014, in chronological order:
1. Providence 70, Georgetown 52
January 8, 2014
After two losses to open the Big East season, PC romped at home against Georgetown. This game makes the list because, after all, how often does that happen? Plus, the Friars avoided a 0-3 start. Kadeem Batts notched 21 points, while Josh Fortune contributed 9 boards.
2. Providence 84, St. John’s 83, 2 overtimes
January 16, 2014
PC made a habit of playing overtime games during the 2013-14 season, 6 in all and 3 double overtime thrillers. Played at St. John’s Alumni Hall, the Friars dominated the glass, with Batts, LaDontae Henton and Bryce Cotton all recording 9 rebounds. Plus, Cotton hit some monster shots on his way to 21 points.
3. Villanova 82, Providence 79, 2 overtimes
February 18, 2014
Not often that a loss would rank among top memories, but Nova was the best in the Big East during the regular season, and the Friars came oh so close to knocking them off. Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton hit big shots to force overtime.
4. Providence 81, Marquette 80, 2 overtimes
March 4, 2014
Wins against Marquette – home or away – have not been easy in the Big East era. This was a crazy game that Marquette appeared to have won several times, but dagger shots from Josh Fortune kept extending the game until PC could steal the win. Cotton had 25 points.
5. Bryce Cotton’s senior night
March 4, 2014
Recognizing Cotton as one of the all-time Friar greats seemed to go right along with grabbing a win against Marquette. Cotton averaged 21.8 ppg, played an almost unbelievable nation-leading 39.9 minutes per game and graduated with 1,975 points, good for fourth on the all-time list.
6. Providence 65, Creighton 58, Big East Tournament
March 15, 2014
Providence won their second Big East championship by downing 14th ranked Creighton and national player of the year Doug McDermott. While Cotton led PC with 23 points, it was a LaDontae Henton left side jumper with time running out that sealed the win. Three years after hiring Ed Cooley as coach, Providence raises the Big East trophy to the sky and cuts down the nets.
7. North Carolina 79, Providence 77, NCAA Tournament
March 21, 2014
A heartbreaker of a loss, this game is memorable for two reasons: PC’s first NCAA appearance in ten years, and Bryce Cotton’s incredible performance. Unstoppable against the Tar Heels, Cotton picked an opportune time to score a career-high 36 points.
8. Providence 75, Notre Dame 74
November 23, 2014
The Friars captured the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament at the Mohegan Sun arena in Connecticut with wins over Florida State and a thriller over a talented Notre Dame squad. LaDontae Henton nailed big shot after big shot on his way to a career high 38 points and carried the Friars to their first away in-season tournament championship since 1984.
9. Friars return to the Top 25
November 24, 2014
After winning the Tipoff tournament, PC found itself, at 6-0, in the Top 25 for the first time since 2004 when the team came in ranked 25 in the coaches’ ESPN poll. While PC would drop out of the rankings the following week with a loss at Kentucky, the Friars national profile was steadily rising.
10. Providence 68, Rhode Island 60
December 10, 2014
This intrastate rivalry was spiced up by a basket-for-basket battle between PC's Kris Dunn and URI’s E.C. Matthews. Matthews scored 27 and showed that he was a helluva shooter, but Dunn scored 22 of his own, plus chipped in 9 rebounds and 4 steals, made the deciding plays in the last minute and showed that he was a helluva player.
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