PROVIDENCE, RI - FEBRUARY 13: Kris Dunn #3 and Junior Lomomba #32 of the Providence Friars defends against Isaac Copeland #11 of the Georgetown Hoyas in the second half  on February 13, 2016, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Georgetown junior Isaac Copeland set to transfer

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Isaac Copeland’s time at Georgetown is finished as head coach John Thompson III announced on Monday that the junior will transfer at semester break.

A former five-star recruit from the Class of 2014, the 6-foot-9 Copeland never materialized into the potential star that the Hoyas hoped he might become as he struggled to earn minutes the last few weeks. Copeland only played eight total minutes over the last five Georgetown games as injuries and poor play contributed to his declining playing time.

As a sophomore, Copeland put up 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 32 minutes per game but he was only playing 19.6 minutes a contest this season. Copeland’s shooting percentages plummeted as a junior as he is shooting 27 percent from the field after being at 42 percent last season. Also 0-for-10 from three-point territory, Copeland just never seemed to find a rhythm this season as graduate transfer Rodney Pryor, Marcus Derrickson and Kaleb Johnson gobbled up most of the minutes.

Hopefully Copeland can find somewhere that rejuvenates his career because he still has plenty of tools to work with. As for Georgetown, Copeland is the second high-profile recruit from the Class of 2014 to transfer after Paul White left for Oregon this offseason.

Hart leads Villanova past Hoyas 81-67 in Big East quarters

Villanova's Josh Hart (3) celebrates after scoring as Georgetown's Isaac Copeland (11) looks away during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game during the Big East men's tournament Thursday, March 10, 2016, in New York. Villanova won 81-67. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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NEW YORK (AP) Josh Hart scored 25 points, Ryan Arcidiacono added 19 points and six assists, and third-ranked Villanova pulled away from Georgetown in the second half to open its bid for consecutive Big East Tournament titles with an 81-67 quarterfinal win Thursday.

Kris Jenkins added 15 points for the top-seeded Wildcats (28-4), who made 13 of their 21 3-point attempts.

The eighth-seeded Hoyas (15-18), whose first-round game ended about 15 hours earlier, led 47-46 midway through the second half before Arcidiacono and Hart led Villanova on a game-breaking run.

Georgetown had 16 offensive rebounds to just four for the Wildcats but converted them into only 12 second-chance points. Villanova, meanwhile, took full advantage of the Hoyas’ mistakes, turning 11 turnovers into 20 points.

The Wildcats had been 0-5 against Georgetown at the Big East Tournament.

L.J. Peak led the Hoyas with 19 points.

Villanova meets Butler or Providence in Friday’s semifinals.

With his team down a point with just over 10 minutes left, Hart knifed through the defense for a layup that put Villanova ahead for good. Arcidiacono hit two 3-pointers then dished to Hart in transition off a turnover for a three-point play that made it 60-48 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.

Villanova big man Daniel Ochefu, playing on a sprained ankle, had no points and no rebounds in 13 minutes. But the taller Hoyas weren’t able to take advantage enough inside. Center Bradley Hayes, who returned Wednesday night with 10 points after missing six games with a broken left hand, wasn’t able to get many touches other than one stretch at the start of the second half.

Neither team scored for nearly five minutes late in the first half before Jenkins hit a 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining to give Villanova a 28-27 lead at the break.

FOULS OUT

There were just eight fouls called and no free throws shot in the first half, with the referees allowing physical play more reminiscent of a 1980s Big East game. It was a complete reversal from the tournament’s previous game that ended about 12 hours earlier, when Marquette and St. John’s combined for 53 fouls and 66 free throws Wednesday night.

There were 27 fouls and 37 free throws in the second half, though many of those came when Georgetown was playing catch-up.

TIP-INS

Georgetown: Leading scorer D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was poked in the eye with just under four minutes left in the first half. He returned in the final seconds. Georgetown failed to score in his absence. Smith-Rivera finished with eight points on 4-of-11 shooting, missing all four 3-point tries. … Hayes had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Villanova: Arcidiacono twice went diving into the stands, once in each half. … Darryl Reynolds had four blocks and three steals.

UP NEXT

Villanova plays Butler or Providence in Friday’s semifinals.

Georgetown’s season likely ends with a 15-18 record.

No. 20 Providence ends skid with 75-72 win over Georgetown

Providence guard Kris Dunn (3) shoots the ball as Georgetown forward Isaac Copeland (11) and forward Trey Mourning (33) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Providence, R.I., Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
(AP Photo/Stew Milne)
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Rodney Bullock had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 20 Providence held off a furious rally to beat Georgetown 75-72 on Saturday.

Kris Dunn added 20 points, and Ben Bentil finished with 16 points and nine rebounds to help the Friars (19-7, 7-6 Big East) end a three-game losing streak.

Georgetown (14-12, 7-6) had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but L.J. Peak’s 3-point attempt was blocked by Bullock.

The Hoyas cut what had been a 26-point first-half deficit all the way down to a point with just over a minute to play.

The Friars put the ball in the hands of Dunn and Bentil, and they accounted for 12 of Providence’s final 14 points to help stave off Georgetown’s comeback efforts.

Marcus Derrickson led the Hoyas with 18 points and nine rebounds.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, the Hoyas’ leading scorer, knocked down a 3-pointer – his first basket of the game – to pull Georgetown within 70-67 with 2:42 left.

It was 71-67 when Dunn blocked a shot by Smith-Rivera. But Bentil came up empty on a 3-point attempt on Providence’s ensuing possession.

Georgetown got it back and cut it to a point on a 3 by Trey Mourning with 1:08 left.

Bullock was fouled underneath and connected on two free throws to push the lead back up to three.

Out of a timeout, Georgetown ran the shot clock down and Isaac Copeland was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Junior Lomomba with 10 seconds left.

But Copeland got only two of the three free throws, forcing the Hoyas to foul Bentil.

Bentil made both, setting up Georgetown’s final shot.

The Friars’ offense was in sync early, and had an 11-0 run midway through the first half.

Georgetown fell apart on both ends of the court during the stretch, going without a field goal for nearly 7 minutes, and turning it over five times as it fell into a 20-point deficit.

TIP-INS

Georgetown: Had five players in double figures. … Shot 25 percent in the first half (9 for 28).

Providence: Its 49 points in the first half was a season-high. The previous first-half high was 47 points against Hartford on Dec. 2. … Had only two first-half turnovers.

UP NEXT

Georgetown hosts Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Providence travels to No.5 Xavier on Wednesday.

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes out indefinitely with broken hand

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes (42) is greeted by John Thompson Jr., right, father of Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, after an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Washington. Georgetown won 79-72. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Georgetown announced on Saturday that senior center Bradley Hayes will be out indefinitely after breaking his left hand in practice on Thursday.

“It is a blow to our team, but I’m very disappointed for Bradley because of the heard work he has put in over the last four years to put himself in a position to have a good senior year,” Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said in a release. “He had successful surgery today and we expect him to fully recover but we’re not sure when he’ll return.”

The 7-foot-0 native of Jacksonville was putting together a very solid senior season before the injury. Hayes averaged 21.4 minutes per contest in which he put up 8.5 points and grabbed 6.6 rebounds per game. After playing sparringly during his first three seasons at Georgetown, Hayes has become a key interior piece for the Hoyas this season.

Without Hayes in the lineup, freshman Jessie Govan will get more minutes and have a chance to be the go-to post player in the Georgetown rotation.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 11 Providence, No. 20 Kentucky fall

Tennessee forward Armani Moore (4) drives against Kentucky guard Jamal Murray (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 84-77. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
AP Photo/Wade Payne
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: DePaul 77, No. 11 Providence 70

Ben Bentil left the game with an ankle injury, Kris Dunn struggled and no one else could get going for the Friars. When that happens the Friars are in trouble, as Rob Dauster notes here. Myke Henry was the standout for the Blue Demons, scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds with Billy Garrett Jr. adding 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Dunn led Providence with 14 points and eight assists, but he shot 5-for-20 from the field, and as a team the Friars shot 39.3 percent from the field.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Tennessee 84, No. 20 Kentucky 77: The Volunteers came back from 21 points down late in the first half to beat the Wildcats in Lexington, with Kevin Punter leading the way with 27 points. Armani Moore also played well for the Vols, adding 18 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Jamal Murray scored 21 points and Tyler Ulis 20 for the Wildcats, who lost to an unranked opponent for the fifth time this season. And for the young Wildcats, some familiar issues got them in trouble Tuesday night.

No. 14 West Virginia 82, No. 13 Iowa State 77: Jaysean Paige scored 23 points off the bench and Devin Williams added 17 points and 18 boards as the Mountaineers erased a 15-point deficit to win in Ames. Georges Niang scored 20 points for the Cyclones but he also turned the ball over eight times, with fellow front court starter Jameel McKay having four turnovers himself. As for WVU, after getting blown out at Florida Saturday Bob Huggins’ team showed the toughness we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from them.

Butler 87, Georgetown 76: Kelan Martin put forth an outstanding showing in Butler’s win over Georgetown, scoring 35 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a key matchup for both teams. This is Butler’s first Big East win over a team other than DePaul or St. John’s, and even with their non-conference slate the Bulldogs were trending in the wrong direction prior to Tuesday night. This win helps, and on the other side of the equation the Hoyas find themselves in even greater trouble when it comes to the NCAA tournament.

MORE: Tuesday’s Bubble Banter

STARRED

Ray Lee, Eastern Michigan: Lee played just 24 minutes in the Eagles’ 94-69 win over Miami (Ohio). He scored 46 points, shooting 9-for-11 from three (11-for-16 from the field), so took full advantage of his time on the court.

Kelan Martin, Butler: Martin scored 35 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench in the Bulldogs’ win over Georgetown.

Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette: 28 points and 17 rebounds in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ overtime win over UL-Monroe.

Devin Williams, West Virginia: Williams scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 18 boards in the Mountaineers’ win at No. 13 Iowa State.

STRUGGLED

Reed Timmer, Drake: Timmer finished the Bulldogs’ loss at Indiana State with 15 points, ten rebounds and four assists. But he scored those points on 5-for-20 shooting from the field.

Kris Dunn, Providence: Losing Ben Bentil after 14 minutes didn’t help matters for Dunn, who shot 5-for-20 from the field in the Friars’ loss at DePaul.

Four McGlynn, Rhode Island: With the Rams playing without Jarvis Garrett (jaw) and Kuran Iverson (concussion), McGlynn had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders Tuesday night. He finished the Rams’ overtime loss at UMass with 13 points and four assists, but he shot 3-for-16 from the field and committed six turnovers.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Buddy Hield led six Sooners in double figures with 17 points as No. 1 Oklahoma blew out TCU, 95-72. Hield’s failed to reach 20 points in a game just three times in Big 12 play this season, but the Sooners have won all three of those games (West Virginia and Baylor being the others).
  • After getting off to a slow start Indiana flipped the switch in a big way, outscoring the Wolverines 41-9 over the final 14:31 of the first half and going on to win comfortably 80-67. Yogi Ferrell scored 17 points and dished out nine assists to lead the way for Indiana, which continues to make strides defensively.
  • Yante Maten accounted for 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks at Georgia beat No. 25 South Carolina 69-56. The Gamecocks are now 19-3 on the season, but given their non-conference slate Frank Martin’s team doesn’t have a large margin for error down the stretch.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • Josh Williams scored 20 points, shooting 7-for-8 from the field, as Akron went on the road and beat Ohio, 80-68. Keith Dambrot’s Zips are now alone atop the MAC East standings at 7-2, one game ahead of Kent State (which lost at Central Michigan).
  • Ben Simmons tallied 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead LSU to an 80-68 win at Auburn.
  • Clemson outscored Wake Forest 56-34 in the second half of their 76-62 win in Winston-Salem. Jaron Blossomgame posted a double-double, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Michael Gbinije scored 17 points and Tyler Roberson added 12 points and 15 rebounds as Syracuse beat Virginia Tech 68-60 in overtime. The Orange have now won five of their last six games.
  • Louisiana-Lafayette won its seventh straight game, moving to 8-3 in the Sun Belt with a 72-65 overtime win over UL-Monroe. Shawn Long finished with 28 points and 17 rebounds.
  • Grayson Allen scored 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Brandon Ingram chipped in 15 points, ten boards and four blocks despite an off shooting night to win at Georgia Tech 80-71. The Blue Devils were without head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who remained in Durham due to illness.
  • James Webb III scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Boise State held off Utah State, 70-67. The Broncos held the Aggies without a point over the final 2:49.
  • San Diego State moved to 10-0 in Mountain West play with a 69-67 win over Colorado State. Trey Kell scored 19 points and Jeremy Hemsley added 16 and five assists for the Aztecs, who host second place New Mexico (7-2) on Saturday.

Kris Dunn, Ben Bentil lead No. 10 Providence to win at Georgetown

Providence guard Kris Dunn, center, goes to the basket against Georgetown center Bradley Hayes (42) and guard Kaleb Johnson (32 ) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — No matter how glaring their biggest weakness is, saying that the No. 10 Providence Friars have a fatal flaw probably isn’t a fair thing to do.

Basketball teams don’t win 18 of their first 22 games if they have a fatal flaw. They don’t beat Arizona and they don’t sweep Butler and they don’t win at Villanova, what may end up being one of the five best wins of the entire college basketball season when we’re all said and done, if they have a fatal flaw. A lot can be overcome when the nation’s best point guard (Kris Dunn) shares the floor with the Big East’s leading scorer (Ben Bentil). Both stars had 26 points in Saturday night’s 73-69 win at Georgetown.

That said, the Friars do have one glaring weakness:

Entering Saturday night, the Friars were shooting 30.6 percent from three on the season, which is good for 320th nationally out of 351 teams. That’s bad, but not quite as bad as the 27.8 percent they were shooting from beyond the arc in league play. Only seven teams in high-major leagues (Tulane, Rutgers, Northwestern, Missouri, South Carolina, Stanford, North Carolina) shot that poorly from beyond the arc in conference play. Of those seven, only UNC has a real shot of doing more than scrapping their way into a double-digit seed, and the Tar Heels are only shooting that poorly because Marcus Paige had been mired in a 1-for-22 shooting slump from beyond the arc.

Long story short, Providence cannot shoot.

“If you watched us the last four or five games you saw some missiles being fired,” head coach Ed Cooley said.

He’s not wrong.

The Friars have fired up some of the most hideous jumpers that you’ll see from a really good team this season. The backboards of the Dunkin Donuts center must be made from bullet-proof glass, and while Dunn has been the culprit on couple of different occasions, for the most part, the kid whose shooting ability has been knocked by just about everyone has been terrific. In league play, he’s shooting 45.2 percent from beyond the arc himself, which means that, entering Saturday, the rest of Dunn’s team was knocking down a paltry 23.0 percent of the threes the shot.

Those teammates were shooting 19 threes per game.

That’s not exactly a recipe for success, which is why we’ve seen Providence lose to the likes of Marquette and Seton Hall, and why Creighton took this team to within one banked-in Dunn jumper from beating them in Omaha.

It’s also by design.

Dunn is not exactly a secret at this point. Everyone in the conference — everyone in the country — knows how good he is and how difficult he is to stop when he’s allowed to turn a corner and get downhill. So opposing defenses pack the paint, forcing Dunn into a decision: Try to go one-on-two or three, or make the smart pass to an open teammate. More often than not, it’s the latter.

“We’ve been played every imaginable way with him. Zone, man, two on the ball. He’s in a crowd every game,” Cooley said. “We see that every game. That’s where the third and fourth guys have to step up and make plays.”

We’ve talked about this quite a bit this season, how the Friars will go as far as Dunn’s supporting cast will carry him. Generally speaking, that conversation has usually centered around whether or not the likes of Kyron Cartwright, Junior Lomomba and Rodney Bullock are actually hitting their threes on that night, but that changed on Saturday night in the Verizon Center. Providence shot just 11 threes against the Hoyas, by far the fewest triples they’ve taken in Big East play the first time since their three-point rate — the percentage of field goals attempted that came from beyond the arc — was that low in a game since Dec. 5th.

“That was our plan,” Cooley said. He’s not dumb. He saw what the rest of us saw. He knew those shooting percentages better than anyone. He knew he team needed to stop settling and attack the rim. “We wanted to make some adjustments out of that. We wanted to go, go, go, go. And it paid big dividends.”

Dunn still did Kris Dunn things, including one three-possession stretch late in the first half when he scored on a ridiculous drive to the rim off of a ball-screen (video below), dribbled through traffic and found Bentil for a dunk, and followed that up with another tough, driving layup.

And while those three plays are what will stick in the mind of people watching the game, it was really the only point in the game where he was able to use the dribble to break down a set Georgetown defense.

“They did a really good job, it’s just that he scored in transition, he made two threes,” Cooley said. “He controls the game.”

In other words, it was business as usual for teams trying to slow down Dunn, but on Saturday, when he would find his open teammates on the perimeter, instead of simply settling for semi-open jumpers, they were putting the ball on the floor and trying to get into the paint. Providence eventually shot 5-for-11 from three, getting to the line 33 times.

And it made a difference.

The Friars landed their sixth-straight win on the road and will held into February just two games behind Villanova in the Big East regular season title race.