Game Recap: Kris Dunn Drops a Game Winner for #12 PC’s 50-48 Over Creighton in an Ugly One

#12 Providence College Friars (15-2) 50  

Creighton Bluejays (12-6) 48

 

Well, that was something alright.

I had my blog all written up in my mind where I was just going to list every single thing in the game and say how much it sucked and that the whole thing should just be wiped from our memory.  A little Eternal Sunshine or Men In Black action was certainly called for through the first 35 minutes of this game, for Providence, Creighton, and the refs.

Then came the last five minutes.

This is what separates this year’s Friars team from some of the good teams we’ve had in the past. They have a superstar, who despite playing poorly for the majority of the game, can take over at any point and single-handedly will this team to victory.

For how ugly this game was, it makes sense that even the game winner didn’t look great.

 

Game Notes:

 

  • Just some quick team numbers to throw at you:
    • PC shot 29.6% for the game and somehow was the better shooting team tonight.
    • Creighton shot 25.4% for the game.
    • Creighton shot 20.8% from three point (5-24) and some was the better shooting three point team tonight.
    • PC shot 16.7% from three point (4-24).
    • Providence had 15 turnovers to only 8 assists.  Kris Dunn averages 7.3 assists per game this year.
    • Maurice Watson, Jr. was 3-16 from the floor.
    • Ben Bentil was 4-12 from the floor.
    • Of the 19 players that saw action tonight, only 5 of them has more than 2 made field goals.
    • I don’t even want to go into PC’s first half stats, cause they were brutal.
  • OK, now that those are out of the way, let’s get to some more positive stuff.
  • Creighton did a tremendous job bottling up Kris Dunn for most of the game.  They were doubling him hard off any pick and he never had a clear passing lane the whole night.  He helped them out by driving east-west instead of north-south all night but the defense just had him off-balance the entire game.  
  • That makes it all the more puzzling as to why Creighton guarded him in straight up man on the final play, especially after he started to get in a groove down the stretch.  It just seemed odd to have only one guy on him and not force someone else to beat you in that spot (like Marquette did).
  • Dunn finished with 5 turnovers and only 3 assists.  It would have helped if a single player on the team could have hit a shot, but that’s still too many turnovers.
  • His final stat line actually looks pretty good: 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 steal, and a game winner, but if you watched the game, that line is very deceiving.
  • After struggling with foul trouble in the first half and seeming to forget how to both catch a basketball and how to dribble, Ben Bentil made some big plays down the stretch, including a humongous three.
  • Bentil finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds and his absence was sorely missed when he was on the bench.  The Friars have no big men depth (especially with Quadree Smith out injured) and had Rodney Bullock playing the 5 for stretches against a big big Creighton team.  Bullock almost immediately picked up 3 fouls in the post against the big guys that the Bluejays threw at him.
  • Speaking of Bullock, how is that for a stat line?  0 points, 0 assists, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls.  Not quite what Ed Cooley is looking for there.
  • Junior Lomomba didn’t play very much tonight as Cooley seemed to want to stick with the same lineup for much of the second half.
  • Kyron Cartwright played a ton of minutes at the point to give Dunn more time to work off the ball and thus harder for Creighton to rotate to double him on a swing pass.  That seemed to open up some easier opportunities for Dunn and get him in a groove, starting with this play.
  • Drew Edwards played his ass off tonight, coming up with some huge rebounds at the end of the game.  One, an offensive rebound in the middle of 3 Creighton players to extend a possession with under 2 minutes left, and the other a defensive rebound in traffic.
  • Edwards was also the only one who seemed to be attacking the rim with any purpose until Kris Dunn awoke at the end of the game.  You can chalk this one up as another game that Edwards kickstarted for the Friars to make a comeback.  I really like that kid’s intensity.  
    • Debbie Downer Sidenote: He is going to need to work on his defensive footwork this offseason as guys seemed to be able to drive right around him before he can get in front of them.  Creighton’s James Milliken was attacking him the whole second half.
  • Speaking of James Milliken, doesn’t he look like Simon Phoenix from Demolition Man with his haircut?

VS.

  • Close enough.
  • Just a quick reminder of Ben Bentil’s athleticism. 
  • Hey Ricky Council, cool your jets with those quick threes with someone up in your grill right when you come in the game huh?  Get into the flow a little bit.
  • It looks like they’re still trying to monitor Ryan Fazekas’ minutes while he works his way back into shape.  It was nice to see him hit a three though.
  • Jalen Lindsey….ahhhhh, Jalen Lindsey.  If it’s just me, please tell me.  He has to be the worst shooter who’s known as being a shooter.  He’s shooting 28.0% from three, but is still shooting 5 three point shots a game.  Five!  He’s also only shooting 38.7% from the floor and 63.6% from the line.  I think we need to adopt a new strategy when Fazekas is closer to 100%.  Lindsey comes off the bench and if he makes his first three, you ride his hot hand.  If he misses the first three, you pull him immediately.  And PLEASE start putting a hand up when you close out on a shooter.  PLEEEEEAAAASSSEEE.
  • Either way, a win is a win.  And it’s a conference win.  And it’s on the road.  I’ll take it.
  • I want to get mad at ESPN for this but I can see where they’re coming from with their decision to give each team a tie for that “basketball” game.

Next Up, The Friars head back to The Dunk to take on Seton Hall on Saturday at 4:30 on FS1.

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