PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Once Providence shored up its efforts on the offensive glass and found a way to cool off Deontae Hawkins, it proved smooth sailing against a longtime New England-based opponent.
Rodney Bullock had 20 points and netted the 1,000th point in his career on Saturday night, and Providence ran past Boston College 86-66. The Friars glided into halftime with a 44-35 halftime lead and vaulted out to a 22-point with less five minutes remaining. Providence shot 59.3 percent from the floor and was 10 of 18 from 3-point territory.
“That’s the part that was disappointing,” BC head coach Jim Christian said about his team’s defensive performance. “Don’t get me wrong, Providence is a very good team. But that wasn’t the way we had been playing.”
Bullock was one of four Providence (5-1) players to reach double figures. Alpha Diallo scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Kyron Cartwright finished with 14 points and nine assists. Cartwright was coming of a game where he nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to help PC top Belmont.
“Boston College’s depth has definitely improved and they’re going to be a tough out, but today was a day where we were able to make a lot of shots and get a lot of contributions,” said Providence head coach Ed Cooley. “I thought our depth showed where we were able to play a lot of guys and keep everyone fresh. Hopefully that’s an identity we can continue to grow on.”
Jalen Lindsey made his first start of the season for PC and had 12 points on four 3-pointers. He was one of eight Providence players to log 10 or more minutes.
Ky Bowman and Hawkins each scored 19 points to lead the Eagles (5-2). Jerome Robinson scored 12 points. A graduate transfer from Illinois State, Hawkins bolted out with 15 points in the opening 11 rebounds. The Eagles were also able to hang around in the first half thanks to snatching nine offensive rebounds.
“We fought hard in the beginning and tried to slow it down. Limiting a team’s ability to get out in transition is a big thing with us,” said Bowman.
The Eagles finished the contest with 16 offensive boards but only converted them into 13 second-chance points. BC led 23-20 after Hawkins swished a three with 9:47 remaining in the first half, but that’s when Providence turned it up several notches en route to notching a double-digit victory.
The offensive execution continued well into the second half as PC’s depth continued to wear out Boston College. The Eagles never closed to within single digits in the second half.
“Our defense, particularly when we were guarding them, started to break down as well as our communication,” said Bowman. “They had a lot of open shots.”
STILL IN TOUCH
Saturday night marked the 12th meeting between Providence and Boston College since the Eagles departed the Big East for the ACC in 2005. BC is the third most-common opponent for PC, as the two teams have now met 112 times since 1942. Of those meetings, 56 came in Big East play.
The Friars now hold a 61-51 advantage.
Cartwright left the floor with 7:12 left after hitting his knee but appeared to be moving fine after the final buzzer. He briefly went to the locker room before returning to the bench.
Bullock becomes the 47th player in Providence basketball history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
PC’s Cooley spent from 1997-2006 as an assistant coach at Boston College. During that span, the Eagles went to the NCCA Tournament five times.
Boston College head coach Jim Christian played his final two seasons at Rhode Island where he helped the Rams reached the Sweet Sixteen in the 1988 NCAA playoffs.
Boston College: Plays its next two games on the road, beginning Wednesday at Nebraska. That game is part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Providence: Stays at home to face Rider on Wednesday.