The Bulldogs took their sixth loss of the season at the hands of the Friars in a nearly sold out Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The game was slowed down by horrific offense, especially in the first half, where both teams combined to shoot just 31% from the floor. The halftime score had butler in the lead, 25-23.
At the half, Butler had not made a single three point shot, missing all of their first eight. Their offensive problems plagued everyone, up and down the lineup.
Leading scorer Kelan Martin came off of the bench for his second consecutive game, Coach Chris Holtmann’s decision, and had just four points on 28% shooting at the half. Martin finished with just eight points in 26 minutes played.
Second leading scorer, and Rhode Island native, Andrew Chrabascz was scoreless at halftime despite four field goal attempts. Chrabascz finished with 12 points on just 33% from the field.
Providence was equally bad at the half. The Friars’ top three scorers (Rodney Bullock, Emmitt Holt, and Kyron Cartwright- all of which average over 10 PPG) had just eight points combined.
The Friars were great from deep, shooting 50% in the first half, but couldn’t get anything else going for them.
Things picked up offensively in the second half for both teams.
For Butler, sophomore big man Nate Fowler was on fire from everywhere on the floor. The 6’11” center finished with 19 points (a game and career high) on 3-3 from deep, and 78% shooting in the contest.
Freshman guard Kamar Baldwin scored just five points in the game, but tallied a career high 11 rebounds.
Providence guard Alpha Diallo, five of which came from the foul line. He was Providence’s leading scorer. Bullock, Cartwright, and Holt all eventually reached double figures as well.
In the final minutes, Butler coach Chris Holtmann lost his cool after what he thought should have been a reach in foul call that would have sent Kamar Baldwin to the line. Holtmann was rewarded with a technical, who’s free throws sealed the victory for Providence.
In a bizarre game of terrible offense for both teams, Providence squeaked out their fifth conference win as Butler surrendered their fifth conference loss.
Butler will look to get back on track in a home game against St. Johns (who beat the Dawgs in New York earlier this year) this week.
Player of the game:
Providence’s Alpha Diallo lead his team in scoring, made clutch free throws late in the game, and dominated the boards: grabbing three offensive rebounds for the Friars. While he is far from a household name, Diallo was the factor that set Providence above in this conference win.
Photo Credit: NCAA.com