Providence Offers Next Road Test for Wildcats
Feb. 17, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Villanova Wildcats move from one challenging road environment into another on Tuesday night, when they meet Providence (17-9 overall, 7-6 BIG EAST) here at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Dick Stockton and Gary Williams will have the call on Fox Sports 1 at 7:00 p.m. The radio broadcast can be heard on CBS Sports Radio 610 with Ryan Fannon and Whitey Rigsby describing the action.
On Sunday, the Wildcats dropped a 101-80 decision to Creighton at CenturyLink Center in Omaha. They fell to 22-3 overall, 10-2 in the BIG EAST and are at No. 9 in this week's Associated Press poll.
Villanova flew directly from Omaha to Providence on Sunday evening, arriving early Monday morning. The team watched film of the Creighton contest on Monday.
"We want to learn from it," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "We were the ones there, so we own it."
The Wildcats and Friars met at the Pavilion on Jan. 5, with VU posting a 91-61 win. In the wake of that triumph Wright noted, "we have to go back up there and we know it will be a very different game than this was. We got up early, made some shots, and were at home."
Bryce Cotton, who along with Doug McDermott and James Bell is one of three BIG EAST players on the Naismith Trophy candidates list, had 25 points for the Friars in the first meeting. Villanova was 14-of-26 from beyond the 3-point arc that night.
The first order of business for the `Cats is to move beyond the disappointment of Sunday, when Creighton seized control early and never let VU get close again after building a 50-37 halftime advantage.
Providence defeated Villanova here last season 69-66.
Villanova will be trying to duplicate its success in rebounding from its two earlier defeats in challenging road environments. The Wildcats downed Butler 76-73 in overtime at Hinkle Fieldhouse after falling to Syracuse in late December and responded to a loss to Creighton at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 20 with a 94-85 overtime win at Marquette five days later.
"We knew this stretch was coming," explained Wright. "We were really looking forward to (Creighton). We felt we didn't play our game at home against them. But now you have played the game at Creighton and you see, you know, this is what we are against Creighton. We've got to learn from that, get better and put it behind us.
"Providence is playing good basketball and is a good team. I think our conference right now has a lot of teams playing well - St. John's, Marquette, Providence, Georgetown, Xavier and Creighton's been doing it all year. There are a lot of teams playing really well and it's going to be a tough finish.
"I've said it along - 22-2, No. 6 in the nation, it doesn't mean anything right now. At this point in the season it's not what you are. You are what you finish. We've got a lot of work to do to see what we are."
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