Providence (18-10) at Seton Hall (14-14)

02/28/2014 7:35 AM

02/28/2014 7:41 AM

GAME NOTES: The Seton Hall Pirates will try and put a stop to a two-game skid as they host the Providence Friars in a Big East Conference showdown at the Prudential Center.

Providence has won two of its last three games, but spanning a bit farther back the Friars have dropped four of their last six - all in conference play. Providence is coming off a victory over Butler, 87-81, on Sunday, which improved the team's Big East record to 8-7.

Seton Hall has been defeated in its last two outings, and five of its last six altogether. The Pirates were beaten by DePaul on Tuesday, 65-60, which dropped their Big East record down to 5-10 with three games remaining on the regular season schedule.

Providence holds the slimmest of leads over Seton Hall in the all-time series with a 47-46 record. The Pirates were victorious over the Friars back on Dec. 31 of this season, coming away with an 81-80 double-overtime win.

Providence used an offensive showcase in the first half to grab a healthy 46-33 lead at the intermission. The Friars connected on 68 percent of their shots in the first frame, but gave away a large chunk of their lead in the second half. Seton Hall made a comeback attempt by shaving seven points off the Providence advantage, but still fell by six points in the contest. Bryce Cotton scored a team-high 28 points with six assists in the win, while LaDontae Henton chipped in 15 points and seven assists. Kadeem Batts, Tyler Harris and Josh Fortune added 14 points in the victory over the Bulldogs.

Cotton has had a spectacular season for the Friars, who started the year strong but floundered a bit when conference play got underway. Cotton leads the team with an impressive 21.5 ppg mark, while also dishing out a team-best 5.9 apg. Henton checks in behind Cotton in scoring with 13.2 ppg, while Batts adds 12.6 ppg and Harris chips in 12.1 ppg. Batts is the team leader in rebounding with 7.6 rpg, and Henton isn't too far off that pace with 7 rpg.

Seton Hall and DePaul battled in a back-and-forth campaign on Tuesday, which saw the Blue Demons take the edge with time winding down in the final minutes of play and hold on for the win. Fuquan Edwin led all scorers in the game with 21 points for the Pirates, adding a team-high four steals. Jaren Sina chipped in 12 points of his own, and Haralds Karlis dished out a team-best five assists in the loss.

Edwin leads Seton Hall in scoring this season with a 15.1 ppg average on 45.8 percent shooting from the floor. Edwin's 70 assists is a team best, and his 43 assists on the year is third on the squad. Sterling Gibbs adds 13.8 ppg and a team-high 112 assists, and Brian Oliver nets 11 ppg. Eugene Teague rounds out the double-digit scorers for Seton Hall at 10.3 ppg and adds a team-best 7.5 rpg.

Seton Hall, like Providence, began the year on a strong note, but because of injuries and a slate of tough competitors the Pirates have fallen off the top tier in the Big East. Providence, though on the road, should get a strong outing from Cotton once again and the other strong, well-rounded players in its lineup.

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