The Friars Survive in Double Overtime

Christopher Cooke, Lion's Roar Staff

     Tuesday night the Providence Friars met the Marquette Golden Eagles in their first Big East matchup of the season. The Golden Eagles came into a scary encounter with 10,869 roaring fans at the former Dunkin Donuts Center, now named the Amica Mutual Pavilion. This Marquette team came into the night flying high after getting an AP Top 25 bid in the latest polling, squeaking into the 24th spot. After a rocky start to the season for the Friars, this matchup was a preview of what Friars fans could expect after a magical 2021-2022 season.

     Another big storyline Tuesday night was the return of Cumberland native, Tyler Kolek. Before transferring to St. George’s, Kolek began crafting his creativity and swagger on the floor just fifteen miles down the road, at Cumberland High School. Being the hometown kid, Kolek came in with plans for revenge, hoping to make Providence pay through his backpack of offensive and defensive skills.

     The first half proved to be every bit of what the game was made out to be. Marquette would open up the scoring with a made dunk, courtesy of Olivier-Maxence Prosper. The first bucket came quickly and the points never seemed to slow down throughout the course of the contest. The first half was back and forth and concluded with a 39-38 halftime score, in favor of the Providence Friars.

     Just like the first, the second half started with yet another bucket from Olivier-Maxence Prosper. During this half, Providence extended their lead to as large as eight, but the Golden Eagles continuously came fighting back. After clutch free throws by Ed Croswell and a quick layup by David Joplin of Marquette, the game would be sent to overtime, with a 78-78 score to end the second half.

     The presence of Kolek was prominent in regulation, both positively and negatively. He was involved in a lot of assists, steals, and a lot of hoops but also contributed to a lump of turnovers.

     In overtime, Marquette would go down big and had to look for an answer. The answer would be who else but the hometown, Tyler Kolek. In the final minutes of OT, Kolek notched two big steals and five points in under a minute, giving the Golden Eagles a glimpse of hope. Finally with six seconds on the clock, Kolek hit possibly the biggest shot of his life with a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 89-89. 

     This game would take two overtimes but no more than that. Kolek entered the second OT in serious foul trouble, where he’d later be disqualified from the game for committing his fifth foul. From that point on the game was seemingly out of reach. In the last four minutes, guys like Kam Jones and Oso Ighodaro had the large task of fulfilling Tyler Kolek’s skills he could no longer provide in his absence.


Marquette would later fall to the Providence Friars 103-98. On the Providence side of the ball, Bryce Hopkins was the hands-down player of the game, accumulating 29 points and 23 rebounds. The Friars partnered Hopkins’s performance with four additional players with double digits. The win moved Providence to 10-3 on the season, with a 1-0 record in Big East play.

     Postgame, reporters asked questions about the game but none stood out more than the one directed toward Tyler Kolek. Some things are bigger than sports, and this was definitely the case here with the hometown hooper.

     Kolek said, “It gets me emotional, all my family,” he said. “My people that were here for me and here for Marquette were supportive. But those Providence fans, you guys know …” via ESPN.

     The Friar’s next matchup will be Thursday, 12/29 at Butler. Marquette will have a shorter turnaround and will meet Seton Hall at home on Tuesday, 12/27.