Alpha Diallo was the alpha and omega for Providence Saturday night with a game-high 35 points and 10 rebounds as the host Friars established a 25-point first-half lead on their way to a 74-71 upset of No. 10 Seton Hall in a Big East Conference game at Dunkin Donuts Center.
Diallo scored 19 in the first half and was slowed only by foul trouble, which cost him a chunk of the second half after he drew his fourth with 10:32 remaining.
But he returned for the final 7:42, not picking up his fifth foul until he and Pirates star Myles Powell each fouled out on double technicals with 4.7 seconds left.
Luwane Pipkins added 13 points for the Friars, which made only 35.6 percent of their shots but grabbed 20 offensive rebounds on their way to winning the board battle 47-35. They finished with an offensive rebound rate of nearly 50 percent.
Powell pumped in 27 points for the conference-leading Pirates (18-7, 10-3) but also committed seven of their 15 turnovers. Quincy McKnight scored 14 and Jared Rhoden added 10 before fouling out. Seton Hall's lead on Creighton, which routed DePaul in Omaha, dropped to a game with six conference games remaining.
Seton Hall has had a pattern of getting off to slow starts lately, but this one would have had to improve to be slow. After Sandro Mamukelashvili scored the game's first bucket on a layup, the Pirates promptly gave up the next 20.
The run lasted 4:40 and was primarily fueled by Diallo, who hit for 12 points in that stretch, converting three 3-pointers and a 3-point play to cap the run at the 12:13 mark. Diallo's two free throws with 7:16 left in the half upped the margin to 34-9.
But Seton Hall used a half-ending 12-2 run to give itself a glimmer of hope going to halftime. Powell converted a layup with 48 seconds remaining, allowing the Pirates to head for the locker room trailing 41-27.
--Field Level Media