Providence Friars 74 (5-0)
Evansville Purple Aces 64 (3-1)
The Providence Friars headed to Cal-Fullerton for the Wooden Legacy and were able to beat the Evansville Purple Aces 74-64 behind a balanced scoring effort with four players scoring in double-figures to advance in the first round of the early season tournament.
The Friars had a steady lead for the majority of the game and set up a match up with Arizona, their first ranked opponent of the year. The Wildcats will be a good test to see exactly how good the Friars are at this point in the season. They’ve been playing mid-major schools who will be towards the top of their respective conferences, but haven’t had to play a big time program thus far. Evansville has a very good chance at making the NCAA tournament this year from the Missouri Valley Conference and this will be yet another good RPI win for the Friars when their resume comes up for the Big Dance.
- Ben Bentil lead all scorers with a career-high 24 points to go along with a team-high 8 rebounds. He was able to knock down a couple of threes and was great at getting to the line, going 10 of 11.
- The Friars were able to keep their good free throw shooting up and shot 23 of 29 (79.3%) from the line. They once again look like a team that will be able to close out games with clutch free throws down the stretch and are 71% as a team. That’s always been a strength of these PC teams with Ed Cooley at the helm.
- Ryan Fazekas was able to bounce back from his shooting woes from last game, just as I said he would, and went 2-2 from long distance, finishing with 10 points.
- Kris Dunn continued to stat stuff the score sheet, ultimately ending up with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and a block. He turned the ball over a little more often in this game but that will happen eventually when you have the ball in your hands for the majority of the possessions. As always, there was a flashy little dish that Mr. Dunn.
- And because The Sticky Bandit is always running wild on the defensive side of the ball, here’s a perimeter block showing off his next level athleticism.Not to toot my own horn (but, toot-toot), but here’s what Ed Cooley had to say about Junior Lomomba after the game…basically word for word what I said after last game. Glad we’re on the same page.
“If I had a game ball today, I’d go with Junior. He did all the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.”
- Rodney Bullock had his first off game of the year…even if it was only a little bit. It was good to see some of the other players on the Friars pick up his scoring slack in this one when the team needed it. He was still able to grab 7 boards which was solid for PC.
- Tonight’s game against Arizona is at fucking 11:30 PM. I’m recording it just in case I can’t make it through but, like, what the hell bro?