Game Recap: PC Friars Win Ugly, But Win Nonetheless At Xavier, 64-62

Providence Friars (12-7) 64

Xavier Musketeers (11-9) 62

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This game seemed to devolve into a who wanted to lose more than the other team.  Rather than the usual scenario of whichever team has the ball at the end of the game is going to win, this was more in the scenario of whichever team has a chance to cough up the ball at the end of the game last will lose.

The Friars were up 10 points with 3:44 left in the game but were just barely able to claw their way to their second win in Big East play.  An unforced turnover here, a missed front end of a 1-and-1 there, and this game just couldn’t help itself but come down to the wire.

However, I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the week.  A win is a win, is a win, is a win.  It takes a tough team to win these type of sloppy games too, so I’ll chalk it up to some growing pains and a learning experience for the young guys.

Game Notes:

  • The Friars had three players score in double-figures, led by Isaiah Jackson off the bench with 13 points.  Jackson put together his first really good shooting performance (6-8) in a while after a couple of games struggling to get his usual shots to fall.  Jackson’s shooting is a really good sign that hopefully carries over to the next game and going forward as the bench needs some constant scoring punch with Nate Watson now in the starting lineup.
  • Jackson had 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal to round out his solid overall performance.
  • Nate Watson (11 pts) went to work down low when given the ball against a sizeable Xavier frontcourt.  Watson was 4-7 from the field but more importantly, was 3-3 from the free throw line and continues to rectify his early season struggles from the line.  Nate is 14-19 from the line over his last 4 games, good for 73.7%.  He needs to keep that kind of shooting up so that teams don’t try to put him on the line instead of getting abused in the trenches.
  • The last player in double-figures for the Friars was (surprise, surprise) Alpha Diallo with 11.  Alpha didn’t have the greatest day shooting, going 4-13 from the floor but as Friartown has become accustomed, did a little bit of everything else to make up for his struggles from the field.
  • Diallo had a team-high 5 assists, tied a team-high in rebounds with 6, and had a career-high 5 (!) steals and a block on the defensive end.
  • Maliek White’s offense finally showed some life after all but disappearing over the last 4 games.  White was 3-7 from the field for 7 points, supplying 3 assists without making a turnover.  That now makes it two games in a row without turning the ball over for Maliek, a sign that his turnover woes may be in the rearview.  That’s 7 assists in 0 turnovers in the last two games.
  • After playing one of his better games of the season against Marquette, Jimmy Nichols Jr. found his way back to playing limited minutes once again.  Nichols played 10 minutes and scored 3 points on a 3-pointer with a block.
  • David Duke has a rough one going 1-5 from the floor for 2 points and 3 assists.  He couldn’t really get into a rhythm
  • The Friars had 16 assists to 10 turnovers.
  • For the second game in a row, the Friars were able to force a boatload of turnovers against their competition, forcing the Musketeers into 18.
  • There was only 16 combined free throws for the entire game between the two teams.  The Friars shot 8-10 and the Musketeers shot 6-6.  That made for a nice and quick game that wasn’t hampered by a shit ton of fouls being called.
  • Kalif Young continues to play very well in his role off the bench.  Young was 3-4 for 7 points and 4 rebounds in just 16 minutes.  I like the dynamics of Watson starting and Young coming off the pine and so far, it looks like its paid dividends for both of them.
  • Kris Monroe has averaged of 6 minutes a game for the past 5 games.  We’ll see if that continues once A.J. Reeves returns but so far I don’t hate it.  He has scored in every one of those 5 games so far and is averaging 3 ppg in that time.
  • Drew Edwards continues to make a positive impact off of the bench and one of the few players that I have confidence in shooting threes.  Edwards was 2-6 from deep for 6 points.  Besides Edwards, the Friars were just 4-16 from three-point land.
  • After starting the season 0-12 from the field and 0-5 from three through his first 12 games of action, Edwards has turned things around tremendously.  Over the last 4 games, Edwards is 10-19 (52.6%) from the field and 6-12 from three (50%).
  • The 5-man bench of the Friars (Ashton-Langford, Young, Edwards, Monroe, & Jackson) scored 30 of Providence’s 64 points.  Love that depth.
  • Speaking of Makai, his shooting woes continued as he went 1-5 from the field but he did have 3 assists and 3 steals as well.  Over the last 4 games, MAL is just 4-25 from the field and is averaging 2.0 ppg.  While his scoring has gone way down, his assists have done the opposite.  He is averaging 5.8 apg over that same stretch.  As long as he’s doing at least one of those things, I’ll let the other slide for now.
  • Especially if he’s doing this…
  • Who knew MAL had hops like that?
  • Hey Zach Hankins…this is, ummm, something I guess.
  • This was the Friars first ever win at The Cintas Center and it couldn’t have come at a better time this season for Cooley and PC.

Up Next, the Friars return home to take on a visiting and much improved DePaul team on Sunday at Noon at The Dunk. 

One thought on “Game Recap: PC Friars Win Ugly, But Win Nonetheless At Xavier, 64-62

  1. Pingback: 2018-2019 Schedule | The Morning Hangover

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