PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Providence coach Tim Welsh knew his team
was tired, five games in 10 days will do that.
The Friars (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) overcame a bad start Monday night and
went on to their sixth consecutive victory, 65-50 over Georgetown.
Providence, which moved back into the Top 25 earlier in the day,
missed six of nine shots and committed four turnovers in falling
behind 10-7 in the game's first 8 minutes.
Welsh told his team to keep fighting.
"We sat down at the beginning of this stretch and looked at it
as a group and said, 'You've got to give something up," Welsh
What the Friars (14-3, 5-1 Big East) did was put the clamps on
the Hoyas and they won their fifth straight in the conference and
moved into a tie for first place with No. 7 Pittsburgh.
Gerald Riley had 22 points for the Hoyas (11-5, 2-4).
Ryan Gomes, the team's leading scorer at 20.3 points per game,
got his first field goal to draw Providence within 10-9 and McGrath
hit a 3-pointer that gave the Friars the lead for good.
Kabba put in a loose ball rebound to make it 21-10 before
Georgetown's Courtland Freeman put in a missed shot to stop a 14-0
run by the Friars with about 6 minutes left in the half.
Kabba scored another five points and McGrath added another 3 as
Providence ended the half on a 28-8 run to take a 35-18 lead.
While Gomes had only four points at halftime, the Friars guards
had five 3-pointers.
"They were double-teaming Ryan a lot tonight," McGrath said.
"That opened it up for other people."
"We didn't need (Gomes) to play well tonight," Kabba added.
"It makes it easier (for the shooters) if they sag on him."
The Friars forced Georgetown into 11 first-half turnovers, and
16 for the game.
"That was the story of the game -- our defense," Welsh said.
Riley hit three straight 3-pointers and Ashanti Cook added two
field goals as Georgetown cut the lead to 42-33 in the second half.
But two 3-pointers by Tuukka Kotti and a basket by Gomes stretched
the lead to 50-33, and Georgetown never seriously threatened again.
"We never let Georgetown make a run," Welsh said.
Gomes finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said he was pleased with how his
team defended Gomes in the post, but acknowledged it left other
"The guards and perimeter people hurt us, and that was the
ballgame," he said.
Georgetown shot 18-for-53 (34 percent), including 28 percent in
the first half. Providence shot 54 percent (22-for-41), including
8-for-15 from 3-point range.