Bullock leads Providence to 77-70 win over Washington
By DENIS P. GORMAN
NEW YORK (AP) Among the truisms of sports is that one year's results have nothing to do with how a team will perform in a new season.
It is an adage that Providence coach Ed Cooley espoused, for all intents and purposes after Rodney Bullock scored 17 points to lift the Friars to a 77-70 win over Washington in the second game of the 2K Classic on Thursday night.
"I'm just glad we hung on," Cooley said. "We're trying to learn about our team. It was a pretty competitive game."
"Our bench won the game," Cooley said.
"I've seen Washington get better every single game they played," Cooley said. "They're going to win a lot of games out west."
Trailing 37-30 at halftime, Washington outscored Providence 13-6 in the first five minutes of the second half to tie the second all-time meeting between the Big East and Pac-12 programs at 43.
"There were a lot of plusses," Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. "There were a lot of areas where we grew as a team. Our guys fought."
So did Providence.
The Friars responded with an 11-4 run, sparked by back-to-back 3s from Bullock and Maliek White to take a 54-47 advantage. Providence extended the lead to 65-54 after Young's layup. Washington answered with a 14-4 run spanning 4:54 to cut the Friars' lead to 69-68.
"They could have collapsed when we went up," Cooley said. "They made a big rush."
Nate Watson's jumper with 2:03 left extended Providence's lead to 71-68, and Cartwright's two free throws pushed the advantage to five.
Nowell's layup cut Washington's deficit to 73-70, but he missed a free throw. On the ensuing possession, Cartwright drilled two more free throws, and Bullock's two free throws with six seconds left sealed the win for the Friars.
"We cut it to one," Hopkins said. "We're still learning how to win. Those are plays you are going to have to make."
Providence: There is a reason Big East coaches picked Providence to finish fourth in the conference's preseason poll. The experienced Friars were able to manage Washington's second-half surges before putting the game away at the free-throw line.
Washington: Who needs Markelle Fultz? Well, a lot of teams, actually. The Huskies may have missed the first overall pick in last June's NBA Draft most acutely in the final minute of the game.
Providence: Kyron Cartwright recorded five assists and is now 26 away from 500 with the Friars. He would become the seventh player in program history to reach the mark. Vincent Council is Providence's all-time assists leader with 725.
Washington: Good things happen when you draw fouls. Just ask the Huskies, who averaged 35 attempted free throws in wins over Belmont and Eastern Washington. Against the Friars, Washington shot just 13 of 22 (59 percent) from the free-throw line.
Providence and Washington had representatives inside Madison Square Garden for the second of two games of the 2K Classic for the Wounded Warriors Project. National Guard service members Demettrious Dawkins and Jennifer Norris attended for Providence, and Adam Jennings (Marine Corps) and Lorenzo Campbell (Army) were present for Washington.
Providence: The Friars meet Saint Louis in the championship game on Friday.
Washington: The Huskies play Virginia Tech in the consolation game Friday.
Updated November 17, 2017