Game Recap: #12 PC Friars Kick Off Big East Play with a Giant 81-73 Win at #9 Butler

#12 Providence College Friars (13-1) 81 

#9 Butler Bulldogs (11-2) 73

I’m a little behind on these recaps since I’ve been away a couple of different places for the holiday season.  I was up in Portland, Maine for a wedding on New Year’s Eve so I watched the game at a bar called Rivalries in Downtown Portland.

The wedding was for a buddy of mine who went to PC with me so we had about 14 people or so at the bar to watch the game.  Fortunately for us, it turned out to be a great performance by the Friars as they were able to be Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse in their opening game of Big East conference play.

That’s what happens when you knock Providence out of the Top Ten after the only game that they play was an away game against UMass where they absolutely slaughtered them.  Don’t poke the bear.

Game Notes:

  • Rodney Bullock came up HUGE in this game and made it not only rain, but pour from three point land.  Bullock was 6 for 9 from deep on his way to a career-high 25 points.  Before the game, Bullock was shooting 26.9% from three.  After the game, Bullock is now shooting 37.1% from three.
  • Bullock’s re-emergence after a down game at UMass was much needed as Kris Dunn struggled with foul trouble during the first half of the game.
  • Bullock decided to toss in a game-high 10 rebounds on the way to his 5th double-double of the year.
  • Dunn came back in the 2nd half and showed why he is one of the frontrunners for the National Player of the Year Award.  He finished with his usual filling of the stat sheet with 20 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals.
  • The one knock on Dunn’s performance was his struggles from the free throw line.  Dunn was 6 for 11 from the line but we’re nitpicking a little bit with such a great victory from the Friars.
  • Ben Bentil is still awesome.
  • Bentil ended up with 19 points and 5 rebounds and has scored under 16 points in only 2 games this year, which just happened to be 2 of the first 3 games of the year.
  • Drew Edwards was absolutely huge in the Friars comeback and finished with 10 important points and 5 rebounds.
  • Kellen Dunham continued his shooting woes, which was great news for the Friars.
  • How is Roosevelt Jones still in college?  His old man game is so frustratingly effective.  Every time you think he’s too slow, he has some herky-jerk up-and-under move for an And-1.  Jones finished with 19 points.
  • Along with Ben Bentil making a huge leap from his Freshman to Sophomore year, Butler’s Kelan Martin has made a similar type jump for the Bulldogs.  I don’t know how some of those shots were dropping but he looked really good on his way to a team-high 20 points and 9 rebounds.  He should be able to slide right into the starting line-up for Jones next year.
  • The Friars were 12 for 26 from three (46.2%) compared to the Bulldogs struggling to a 3 for 17 showing (17.6%).  That was a enormous difference in this game.
  • The Friars should be able to move up the rankings with this huge kickoff win to their Big East schedule…of course I already know that they went to #8, but that’s what I would have said.
  • One Last Thought….

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