Uncasville, CT –LaDontae Henton had a career day as Providence topped Notre Dame in the final of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. The senior scored 38 points, including the game winning free throws, as Providence defeated the Irish 75-74 on Sunday.
Henton scored his 38 points while shooting an efficient 14-of-19 from the field, 4-of-8 from three, and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He played all 40 minutes and had plenty of key plays late. He hit a three-pointer with 42.8 seconds left to take the lead before Notre Dame regained it on the following possession. Henton then attacked the rim, drew contact, and hit both free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining to reclaim the lead. Notre Dame had the final shot, but Henton got a piece on the final attempt as Providence walked off victorious.
While there isn’t a lot of flash in Henton’s game, that’s partly why he’s so effective. His jumper was falling but he wasn’t just settling for deep jumpers. He used ball fakes to create space and knock down either one-dribble or two-dribble pull-ups. At 6-foot-6 he’ll need to likely play as a “2” if he wants a shot in the NBA, but Henton showed that he deserves some looks after his performance on Sunday. He’s now averaging 23.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting a strong 44-of-73 (60.3%) from the field and 9-of-21 (42.9%) from deep.
Tyler Harris was the only other Friar in double-figures as he added 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He is a lengthy 6-foot-9 junior forward to keep an eye on. Harris showed some issues with his jumper, as it lacked arc and led to a 0-of-3 display from deep, but has some upside as an athletic wing that can attack the hoop.
For Notre Dame, senior Jerian Grant led the Irish with 20 points and six assists. The 6-foot-5 guard played mostly off the ball but can certainly play the point. Grant showed creativity as a ball handler and also dished six assists. He was 6-of-13 from the field and 1-of-3 from behind the arc. Grant lacks elite athleticism, but is a savvy player with good length. He should be a second round pick in the upcoming draft.
His backcourt mate, Demetrius Jackson, will be one to follow. The 6-foot-1 sophomore handled most of the point guard duties and finished with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He struggled shooting the ball, as he was 0-of-3 from deep, but was effective attacking the rim. A highlight came when he blew by a defender with a right to left crossover and finished with a dunk. Jackson is a good ball handler with good athleticism and should be one to follow.
Providence is now 5-0 on the year with a game against Yale on Friday before facing Kentucky on the 30th. Notre Dame dropped its first contest of the year and fell to 4-1.
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