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MBB Big East Tournament: No. 4 Providence defeats No. 5 Butler, Advances to Semifinals


March 9, 2016 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

March 9, 2016 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

The Providence Friars defeated the Butler Bulldogs 74-60 on Thursday afternoon at Madsion Square Garden. The win advances Providence to the semifinal round where they will take on No. 1 Villanova.

The Friars were led by sophomore forward Ben Bentil who had a game-high 38 points to go with eight rebounds.

Bentil’s 38 points puts him tied for second in points in a Big East Tournament game only behind Donyell Marshall who finished with 42 for the University of Connecticut in 1994. Bentil is tied with former Providence Friar Jamine Peterson, Allen Iverson, Danya Abrams and Dana Barros.

Along with Bentil was two time Big East Player of the Year  Kris Dunn who finished with 15 points and seven assists.

“He did a great job of getting me the ball at the right spot,” Bentil said. “Kris is a great teammate and he gets me the ball in the right spots. It’s all in him.”

Dunn showed off his speed and agility with two huge dunks electrifying the Garden crowd. When asked about finding Bentil Dunn said, “It’s very simple. If you see someone who’s that hot give them the ball the best you can. Ben’s a great person and a great teammate. Congratulations to him.”

“I am very proud of our kids,” Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “We had great offensive rhythm.”

Cooley also admitted to admiring the show Bentil was putting on.

“I was a fan to see that ball go in the net like that. He scored in every possible way. It was a great offensive display that I haven’t seen in this league in a long time.”

Providence is set for the semifinal rematch against Villanova, who beat the Friars 63-61 in 2015.

The tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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