White scores career-high 19 as Providence beats Butler again
17 Mars, 2019, 11:22 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
Providence kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive and found yet another way to beat Butler. Villanova has an assist on 40 of 69 field goals (58 percent) across its previous three matchups while Providence has assists on 45 of 84 field goals (53.6 percent) during its past three games.
"Maliek looked like Superman out there today", Cooley said. "We're going to need him to do that again in about 15 hours".
Eighth-seeded Providence (18-14) advanced to face top seed and No. 25 Villanova in a quarterfinal on Thursday afternoon. The Friars came back and nearly stole the January game at the Dunk and was competitive and leading much of the first 30 minutes in Philadelphia.
The problem with the Providence Friars this season has been mostly on the offensive end.
Maliek White scored a career-high 19 points and Alpha Diallo had 18 to spark Providence to an 80-57 victory against Butler in a Big East tournament first-round game on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in NY.
David Duke chipped in 16 points for the Friars while Isaiah Jackson added 13.
Tucker paced the Bulldogs with 14 points, while Aaron Thompson followed with 12.
"Obviously, a ton of credit to Coach Cooley and Providence", Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. "They deserved to win and advance with the way that they played".
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Providence, which probably needs to win the tournament to get a sixth straight NCAA Tournament berth, struggled early.
Junior forward Alpha Diallo, named to the 2nd team all-Big East squad, took advantage of matchup issues with the smaller Bulldogs in the paint at this point and with the Butler focus on slowing the Friars down inside, it was White's turn to flip the switch. A combination of poor shooting and turnovers allowed Butler to open a 17-7 lead.
When White was asked to explain his scoring binge, Cooley jumped in and said it was the coaching.
"I think my teammates just gave me confidence", was White's explanation, as he finished the game with a career-best 19 points. "They tell me keep shooting the ball".
The Butler Bulldogs were once a power on the national stage, but they have had a rough season.
He certainly did. With a 38-27 lead at the break, Butler could pull within six on a couple of occasions in the first three minutes of the second half before a 15-0 run shut the door on the Bulldogs' chances for good.
Providence: Will go to some postseason tournament, but needs three more wins in the next three days to go dancing. At 16-15, Butler has to win the Big East Tournament to be included in the NCAA Tournament field.
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