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It was another disappointing trip to the Big East Tournament for the Providence Friars, as they fell 58-53 in their opening round game against West Virginia . While a Providence upset looked like it might be in the cards, missed lay-ups and key turnovers late spoiled the Garden party for the Friars and their fans.

It was the Joe Alexander and Da'Sean Butler show for the Mountaineers, who scored 22 and 18 points respectively, carrying West Virginia against a Providence team that challenged and led for much of the game until stumbling in last six minutes.

West Virginia had won four of its last five games, and had swept Providence during the regular season. Consequently, Tim Welsh knew he had to the control tempo in this game to have any shot for an upset. The Friars accomplished that, playing tough defense, never allowing West Virginia to go on a big run, and showing patience on the offensive end by limiting their three point attempts early in the shot clock. The result was that the Friars were able kept the game in the fifties.

TW: "We stuck to our game plan as good as any night we've played this year…They averaged 70 points a game in this league, and they got 58. So from that perspective, we did a good job. But obviously, scoring points is a difficult thing for us at times against certain defenses with some players playing out of position. But, we got the game into the 50's on both ends, and then it becomes a scratch and claw type game."

Despite missing a number of point blank shots throughout much of the game, Providence held leads between four and nine points on numerous occasions, despite only shooting a mediocre 42% from the field for the game. Tim Welsh inserted Greedy Peterson for 19 minutes, in an attempt to match some of the quickness that West Virginia had exploited the Friars with over the last two match-ups. Peterson responded, grabbing six rebounds and eight points. He would have had even more, but he missed a dunk and another lay-up. Geoff McDermott had another strong game running the offense, tallying eight assists and only three turnovers. McDermott has averaged an impressive 7.3 assists in the last four games.

McDermott: "It was real tough coming down here…Making it, playing as well as we can, as hard as we can, and just not coming up with it."

While Providence only committed one more turnover than West Virginia , the Friars coughed up four of them in the last five minutes and a half minutes of the game that may have been the difference in this one.

Tim Welsh: "At the end of the game in a hard fought game, it is who makes the plays at the end. We turned it over three, four times in the last four minutes and that was the key part of the game."

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