Providence seeks season sweep of Seton Hall

NCAA Men's Basketball

Providence guard A.J. Reeves beat Seton Hall with a 3-pointer in overtime in December in the first matchup between the teams.

Reeves, coming off his best game of the season against Georgetown on Saturday, will try to lead the Friars to a sweep of the season series when they host the Pirates on Wednesday night.

Reeves’ bucket against Seton Hall with 3.1 seconds left gave Providence an 80-77 victory on Dec. 20. Sandro Mamukelashvili forced the extra session for the Pirates with a traditional 3-point play with under nine seconds remaining in regulation.

The Friars (9-8, 5-6 Big East) got 23 points and 11 rebounds from Nate Watson in that game and 18 points and 10 rebounds from David Duke, while the Pirates (9-8, 6-5) got 20 points from Mamukelashvili and 16 apiece from Myles Cale and Jared Rhoden.

Both teams are entering the rematch after losses.

Providence suffered its third one-possession loss in January, 73-72 at Georgetown, despite Reeves scoring a season-high 28 points and hitting six 3-pointers. The Friars led by 15 midway through the first half, and only lost the game after Duke missed the second of two free throws with 1.5 seconds left.

Providence coach Ed Cooley was particularly miffed about his team’s lack of toughness, especially being outrebounded 47-33.

“I thought we were incredibly soft as a team today … we did not earn a road win,” Cooley said. “I’m not just saying soft from a physical standpoint. I’m talking about soft overall, the approach.”

Seton Hall is coming off an 80-72 home loss Saturday to No. 3 Villanova, its third straight defeat. The Pirates, who suffered a crushing 85-81 loss to Creighton on Jan. 27 after surrendering a 16-point, second-half lead, fell behind by 14 points early to Villanova and couldn’t recover.

“I know we didn’t play good, but the loss the other night (to Creighton) was tough,” coach Kevin Willard said after the loss to the Wildcats. “I thought we played hard, did some good things, but we had a hard time mentally getting going early in the game.”

Shavar Reynolds Jr. led the team with 13 points, and Mamukelashvili had 12 points and a team-best nine rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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