Marquette Golden Eagles (11-4) 65
#8 Providence College Friars (14-2) 64
First off, let me just say that I’m going to take full blame for this loss. Instead of watching the Friars game at home on TV, I went to the UConn/Temple game instead. I was so flustered by not being able to watch the Friars that I actually forgot to change from my slippers to my sneakers before I left for the game, so I was wearing these guys the whole time.
Whoops. Oh well, on to the game. I’ll be better from now on.
The 8th ranked Providence College Friars suffered their first loss of the Big East conference schedule and their first loss since November 29th against Michigan State. It’s pretty good any time you can go over a month without a loss. It hurts that they battled all the way back from a first half deficit and took the lead in the 2nd half, but it hurts even more so that it was home at The Dunk.
Marquette is a feisty team with a lot of length that bothered the Friars for much of the game. When the Golden Eagles defense went to a zone, no Friar besides Kris Dunn was able to make them pay from deep. Marquette is going to be a borderline NCAA tournament team come March and a win over a top ten team on the road is certainly going to look good on their resume.
- I am not a fan of the Friars alternate home gray jerseys. They should really stick with the classic white and black.
- Grey vs. White
- White jerseys for the win, all day, every day.
- Danny Ainge was in attendance at the game, most likely to see Kris Dunn and Henry Ellenson, who are both projected as lottery picks in next year’s NBA Draft. It probably doesn’t hurt to see Ben Bentil depending on how they chips fall at the end of the year for the Friars (P.S. please don’t leave no matter what Ben, I love you).
- Rodney Bullock’s first five minutes were pretty rough. He couldn’t even catch the ball. He came out of the game for a few and looked more relaxed when he re-entered the game, even if the shots weren’t falling as much as they usually do. He finished the game 3 for 11 with 3 turnovers.
- This was the first game back for Ryan Fazekas after battling with mono for the past month or so. He didn’t look right. The shots looked good going up, but were just a little off. He definitely looks like he lost some weight too, which is to be expected. When Marquette went to zone, Fazekas was getting good looks but they just weren’t falling. He played only 5 minutes but went 0 for 4 from three.
- How about Tommy Planek ditching the undershirt…total game-changer.
- I really enjoy how Bill Raftery calls ticky-tack fouls “nickel and dimes.” Just another reason to be grateful that Bill calls all these Big East games.
- Here are some first half stats that put PC in a hole that they couldn’t get themselves out of:
- 30-24 with Marquette winning
- FG %: MU 52.2%; PC 31.3%
- 1/10 from 3 point range
- 12 turnovers (average 10 per game)
- Somehow PC was winning the rebound battle 18-15 with 7 offensive boards
- So, when the the Friars climbed all the way to a lead in the 2nd half, they had to use that extra energy to get there, which left them a little spent at the end of things, I can only assume.
- Dunn came out in the second half on a God Damn mission and in full attack mode. Here’s the first play of the second half and he didn’t slow down after this.
- Dunn finished with 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals.
- However, Kris also finished the game with 7 turnovers, about half of those were on him and the other half were dropped passes and such. The Friars turned it over 16 times for the game, much higher than they usually do.
- Dunn did finish 3 for 5 from distance in the game, making 3 of the Friars 4 made three point baskets in the contest. Lindsey, Edwards, Bentil, and Fazekas combined for an 0 for 10 performance from three. Not good.
- If you were still questioning whether Dunn was in full attack mode in the second half…
- Ben. Bentil. Good Lord.
- Bentil was an absolute beast in this game…yet again.
- Ben finished with a game-high 28 points on 9 of 17 shooting (10-10 from the FT Line), 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
- Bentil is so quick that the guy actually thinks he has a wide open layup. Bentil comes all the way from the other side of the paint to deny him at the rim.
- Since when do big guys shoot like Bentil does from the free throw line? Ben is now shooting 81.4% from the line. And he’s our center. That doesn’t even make sense. Good on him.
- Bentil’s now averaging 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Wow.
- Although the Golden Eagles had much more size than the Friars, PC actually held the rebounding edge for the game, outrebounding Marquette 34-28. The big guys of Marquette did tend to score down low a lot though.
- Henry Ellenson is a player. With his inside-out ability, he’s going to have a spot on an NBA roster. Ben Bentil thoroughly outplayed him last night…just throwing that out there.
- There was a string of plays in the 2nd half that had Dunn wheelin’ and dealin’ around the 10 minute mark that was just incredible. Dishes, NBA Threes, Dunks, Alley-Oops…everything was going PC’s way as they took the lead about halfway through the 2nd half, capped off with this play from Kyron to Bentil.
- Marquette was able to battle back in the last couple minutes and take the lead with about 30 seconds left.
- The Friars did get a last second shot to try and win the game but after some chaotic passing around the perimeter, Dunn was left with a desperation shot as the only option. I guess we’ve found out how you can slow down Kris Dunn a little bit…just throw three guys at him at all times.
Next Up, the Friars travel to Creighton to take on the Blue Jays on Tuesday January 12th. The game is at 8:30 PM on FS1.