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Bentil Leads Providence Over Butler

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The Providence Friars came into this contest as the #4 seed in the Big East Tournament. Their opponent would be the #5 seed Butler Bulldogs. The Friars had beaten the Bulldogs twice earlier in the season, and looked to make the season sweep Thursday afternoon.

The first half was well played on both sides. Butler was able to connect from downtown (7 for 10), and out-rebound the Friars 19-16. The three pointer is what kept the Bulldogs close, as Providence played excellent defense. The Friars held Butler to just 32% shooting from the field, and abused the Bulldogs interior defense (16 first half points in the paint). Ben Bentil was a huge contributor to the interior scoring. Bentil led all scorers at the half with 15 points.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Not even the rowdy Butler band could propel the Bulldogs past Providence.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Not even the rowdy Butler band could propel the Bulldogs past Providence.

In the second half, Providence imposed its will against Butler. The Friars looked more determined and played much more physical then the Bulldogs. Providence continued to pound the paint, and that proved to be the difference in this game.

Kris Dunn started to connect from downtown and continued to create open opportunities for his teammates. Dunn’s efforts along with Bentil’s 23 second half points, proved to be too much to handle for Butler. The Friars would go on to eliminate Butler 74-60.

Providence will go on to face the winner of the #6 Creighton Blue Jays and #3 Seton Hall Pirates.

Stats Of The Game:

  • Providence out-scored Butler 42-30 in the second half.
  • Kellen Dunham led Butler scorers with 17 points.
  • Bentil finished the game with 38 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
  • Dunn tallied 15 points and seven assists, but committed four turnovers.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY)

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