Providence looks to settle score with Butler

·2 min read

A.J. Reeves has struggled all season from beyond the arc but he rewarded Providence coach Ed Cooley for his patience Sunday when he hit a clutch shot against DePaul.

Reeves and the host Friars (6-3, 2-1 Big East) will now try to bounce back from a poor outing against Butler when the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-1) visit Wednesday for a conference contest.

Reeves was held to two points on 1-of-10 shooting in the Friars' 70-64 loss to the Bulldogs on Dec. 23 and entered the DePaul game averaging 6.9 points per game. He proceeded to score 22 points and buried 4 of 10 3-pointers against the Blue Demons, including one from the right wing with six-tenths of a second left to force overtime in an eventual 95-90 double-overtime victory.

Reeves entered Sunday's contest with 18 points in his previous four games and shooting 17.9 percent (7 of 39) from behind the arc this season.

"He's made some big shots in his three years here, and he continues to make them," Cooley said. "When the game's on the line he's someone we're going to go to."

Cooley will need Reeves to continue to make treys as the Friars shoot just 25.9 percent from the arc. It will also help alleviate the burden on leading scorers David Duke (19.7 points per game) and Nate Watson (19.1).

Butler has not played since beating Providence a week ago.

JaKobe Coles led five Bulldogs in double figures with a career-high 14 points in that win. Butler held the Friars to 4-of-26 shooting from deep, won the battle of the boards (37-32) and shot 23 free throws to the Friars' 10.

"Obviously in a game against Providence, you know it's going to be physical," Butler coach LaVall Jordan said afterwards. "I thought we were really connected and together, helping each other through mistakes."

Butler has played the last three games without point guard Aaron Thompson, who continues to rehab a sprained knee after posting 35 points and 10 assists in the first two games.

Jair Bolden averages 14.0 points per game and has been strong from the arc, shooting 42 percent (15 of 36) from 3-point range including six treys during a 20-point outing against Indiana on Dec. 19.

--Field Level Media