Providence’s dynamic duo did it again.
Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil have been the lifeblood of the Friars’ hopes for a deep NCAA Tournament run this season, and that continued Saturday night. In Washington, D.C., against a desperate Georgetown team looking to pile up quality wins, Bentil and Dunn combined for 52 points as the Friars picked up a 73-69 victory over the Hoyas. Bentil threw up a 26-point, nine-rebound performance, knocking down six clutch free throws late to put the game out of reach. To help him out, Dunn put up 26 points of his own, and added three assists and four steals.
Kris Dunn with the acrobatic finish for @PCFriarsmbb & 1,000 career points! #BIGEAST https://t.co/uvN10ImezP
— FS1 (@FS1) January 31, 2016
Dunn also played pretty terrific defense on D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, holding him to 12 points in the first 38 minutes of the game by using his length and denying him the basketball when playing him away from the ball. Smith-Rivera finished with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, but six of those came late after the game was already decided.
Providence continues to build a pretty interesting résumé. The Friars are one of four teams nationally that are undefeated on the road this season, and none of the other three teams can match up with the quality of wins on the road that the Friars have, with victories over Villanova, Georgetown, Butler, Creighton and Rhode Island. However, they’ve also begun dropping games at home, having lost three of their past four at the Dunk. The way the selection committee handles their résumé if this trend keeps up is going to be really interesting, as the Friars now have six wins over top-100 RPI teams.
On the other side of the ledger, Georgetown’s margin for error just shrunk every so slightly again. The 13-9 Hoyas have some major ground to cover before the end of the season, and this was another opportunity that went down the drain. Luckily for them, they do have seven games remaining against top-50 opponents. There’s still a chance they can turn this around and get into the NCAA Tournament. But they’re going to have to start winning games now, as Seton Hall, Creighton and Marquette all have chances to build resumes better than theirs before the season is up.