Shared from the 1/8/2020 The Providence Journal eEdition


Marquette’s Howard continues his torrid scoring

torched the Friars for 52 points at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, making 11 3s. “He was better tonight,” Cooley said. “He made a ton of 3s two years ago. Tonight he scored in a variety of ways.” Sharing the ball While the Friars may not have a "pure" point guard on the roster, they do have a slew of players capable of passing the ball. Providence leads the Big East in assists at 17.1 per game. Villanova is second at 15.8. Luwane Pipkins leads the Friars with 67 assists and is sixth in the Big East at 4.5 per game. When Pipkins dishes for four or more assists, the Friars have a 8-2 record. Backcourt-mate David Duke is

MILWAUKEE — Few coaches in the country stress defending the 3-point line more than PC’s Ed Cooley, but the Friars were put to the test against Marquette on Tuesday night.

The Golden Eagles entered the game fourth in the country in 3-point shooting at 40 percent. Six players have drained 10 or more 3s with Markus Howard leading the way with 51. Howard, who leads the country in scoring with 25.8 points a game, is the rare player who shoots a better percentage from outside the arc than on all shots (42 percent).

Providence came in allowing opponents to shoot 32 percent on their 3-pointers. Cooley talks about a defensive philosophy of allowing “tough 2s” instead of getting hurt from the 3-point line and, after surviving for a 81-80 win in overtime, the coach couldn’t complain about his defense.

Howard finished with 39 points and made six 3s. Brendan Bailey added four but the rest of the Golden Eagles made just one more.

“He was unbelievable; he scores it at an elite-level clip,” Cooley said. “Any mistake you make on him defensively, he takes advantage of.”

The one player in the Big East who’s consistently foiled the Friars defense has been Howard. In his first six games against PC, the 5-foot-11 guard has averaged 23.8 points. As a sophomore, he eighth in the league with 57 assists for a 3.8 average and is off to a fast start in conference play with 13 assists in PC’s opening two Big East contests. Alpha Diallo (43 assists) and Maliek White (28 assists) are also competent passers.

Pipkins picked up early fouls against Marquette and was limited to only 12 minutes, but White stepped up for the second straight game. The senior led the Friars with 19 points and dished for four of the team’s 14 assists.

Around the rim

Butler is the Big East’s lone representative in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll this week. The Bulldogs (13-1) rose five spots to No. 6 in the poll and became the sixth Big East team in the last five seasons. The others are Villanova, Xavier, Creighton, Marquette and Providence. The Friars were ranked as high as No. 8 in the 2016 season.

While the Friars stayed on the road after their win at DePaul on Saturday, Butler enjoyed time off after its win over Creighton on Saturday. The Bulldogs next play in Providence on Friday at 9 p.m. The Friars did not host a top-10 team last season.

The Friars are off to a 3-0 start in the Big East, matching the program’s best-ever start in 2009. The team has never begun Big East play at 4-0. kmcnamar@

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