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9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Jan 23, 2022
Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island  Attendance: 10,561

No. 21 Providence aims to avoid letdown vs. Butler

No. 21 Providence was just happy to get back on the court Thursday after postponing two games due to COVID-19 issues. Thus, coach Ed Cooley was willing to overlook some flaws in his team's performance.

He might not be as forgiving on Sunday now that the Friars have a game under their belts. Providence (15-2, 5-1 Big East) will host struggling Butler (9-9, 2-5), which has lost three straight and five of its last six conference games.

"Coming out of that pause, you just don't know how you're going to play," Cooley said after an 83-75 victory over Georgetown.

"That was probably one of the better offensive rhythm games we've played in a long time," he added. "Maybe the best we've shot all season. Our defense was a little suspect. That was to be expected (after) not having a lot of practice time."

Providence shot 52.9 percent from the field and 47.4 percent (9 of 19) from 3-point range, yet allowed the Hoyas to hit a sizzling 56.5 percent (13 of 23) from beyond the arc.

Georgetown's 13 threes were the most the Friars have allowed this season, and Cooley certainly will want a better defensive performance against the Bulldogs.

Butler's 75-56 loss to visiting Connecticut, also on Thursday night, was somewhat deceptive. The Bulldogs trailed only 57-52 with 4:18 left before the No. 25 Huskies finished the contest with an 18-4 run.

"I thought our guys fought until the end," coach LaVall Jordan said afterward. "We've got to trust and believe."

"We've got to get some rest, recharge, watch the film, get better and get ready for Providence on Sunday," Jordan added.

Butler guard Aaron Thompson, who had 10 points and five assists in that game, said, "I feel like we put together a good game for the most part. I don't think that game was what the score said it was at all... We've got to come out in the second half with more energy."

UConn opened the second half with an 11-2 run to erase a 28-24 halftime deficit.

"It wasn't anything they changed," Jordan said of the Huskies and their early second-half spurt. "We didn't block out."

He was referring to two key putback baskets by UConn. Butler now has to defend Providence's bigs, Nate Watson (13.8 points) and Noah Horchler (10.1 points, 8.3 rebounds).

"We were all chomping at the bit just to get back out here," Horchler said. "We were all in the hotel for five straight days, not able to leave, so we were ecstatic (to play)."

The Friars may still be without A.J. Reeves, who has missed three games with a finger injury.

Chuck Harris leads the balanced Bulldogs with 10.2 points per game. Five teammates average between 7.5 and 9.7 points per game.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 21, 2022

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