Game Recap: Friars Falter Down the Stretch, Losing at Seton Hall 65-63

Providence Friars (13-8) 63

Seton Hall Pirates (13-8) 65

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Providence lost a very winnable game to Seton Hall that was incredibly important for each team.  The Big East has been separated into two tiers so far this season.  The first tier being Villanova and Marquette, and the second tier being everyone else.  This was an opportunity for one of the middle of the pack to begin to separate themselves to the top half of the league.

Providence shot very poorly in the first half but came out with a fire to start the second half, turning a seven point halftime deficit into a seven point lead in the blink of an eye.  The game went back-and-forth from then on with each team taking leads in the final minutes.  The Friars had some untimely turnovers down the stretch and weren’t able to get the look that they probably wanted to tie the game on the last possession, but there were multiple plays down at the wire that you could point to as being the most costly to them, ultimately ending in a two-point road loss by the end.

Game Notes:

  • Seton Hall is basically Miles Powell and then everyone else.  Powell scored 31 of the team’s 65 points and took 23 of the Pirates 52 total field goal attempts.  After scoring a season low 3 points in his last game against Villanova, Powell recorded his 4th 30+ point scoring game of the season.  They should have been doubling him whenever he touched the ball because the only other players to hurt the Friars were Nzei and Thompson and most of their work came in clean-up duty around the basket.
  • Alpha Diallo was fantastic for 90% of the game before things went a little off the rail down the stretch.  Diallo played 37 minutes, going 8-14 from the floor for a team-high 21 points.  Diallo also had 4 steals, 3 assists, and a pair of rebounds.  Diallo has recorded 9 steals in his last three games.
  • Diallo turned it over multiple times in the last handful of possessions when the Friars needed to either score or get to the line.  To his credit, he put the weight of his mistakes on himself and hopefully he’ll learn from these high-intensity situational errors going forward.  This is Diallo’s first season as “the guy,” when the Friars are looking for someone to take over at the end of the games and be the person to take that final shot.  That guy might actually be A.J. Reeves, but he’s not ready for those type of minutes right now.
  • Based on the minutes that Jimmy Nichols Jr. has been playing lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds his way to coming off the bench soon.  He’s played 10 or less minutes in 5 of the last 7 games and right now, his explosiveness might be better suited for compacted minutes at high magnitude.
  • Nate Watson got no favors from the refs in this game which took him completely out of being as big of factor as he otherwise would have been.  Just check out this offensive foul they called on him for this third foul.  The defender falls in a completely different direction than Watson’s move is even going in.  Pat Driscoll is the fucking worst.
  • The defender almost doesn’t even go down because he realizes that the contact that he was anticipating after Nate’s first dribble wasn’t actually coming.
  • Also, great job here of Nate running the floor.  Have to reward the big guy for his gitty-up.
  • Speaking of the refs…can someone explain to me how this is not over the back?
  • I was really digging the zone that the Friars were playing during the game.  It was difficult to recognize a lot fo the openings for the Pirates and they turned the ball over a ton because of it, while also getting some pretty crappy looks at the basket.
  • The Pirates had 19 turnovers in the game, which unbelievably, was actually less than they had when these teams played in Providence (22).
  • I was hoping that Maliek was going to attack the basket more, but I really enjoyed when him, Duke, and MAL were on the floor at the same time.  That run-and-gun style suits what this Friars personal should be doing.
  • Duke looked comfortable out there with he guard heavy lineup and I think that took a little bit of the pressure off him of solely running the point for the offense.  He excels in the open floor setting and the free-flowing offense.
  • Isaiah had a rough game.  He was 3-11 on the night, including the last second shot for the tie.  I thought it was a foul on two Seton Hall defenders, but I would have went to someone else based on how Isaiah had been shooting throughout the game.  I would have loved to have seen Reeves involved in some offense/defense substitutions at the end of the game based on his inability to play big minutes right now and Jackson’s struggles offensively during the game.
  • You tell me if this is a foul.  Especially on Powell.

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  • Drew Edwards continues to be a stud off the bench for the Friars.  Drew hit 2-3 from deep while the rest of the Friars were a combined 5-19.
  • MAL, in addition to playing really good defense, added a team-high 5 assists.  Much like Diallo, MAL was a little too turnover prone, coughing it up 4 times, but overall I thought he played really hard all game.
  • The Friars have somehow turned their entire team free-throw shooting around.  It’s not like it’s just one player.  Literally everyone on the team has seemingly improved.  Let’s check out the last couple of games.
    • 14-17 vs. Seton Hall (82.4%)
    • 22-26 vs. DePaul (84.6%)
    • 8-10 vs. Xavier (80.0%)
  • Over the last 3 games, that makes the Friars (the worst free-throw shooting team in the Big East) a combined 44-53 (83.0%).  Let’s keep that up boys.

Up Next, the Friars head to Chicago to take on DePaul at 2:30 on Saturday.  The game will be televised on FS1.

One thought on “Game Recap: Friars Falter Down the Stretch, Losing at Seton Hall 65-63

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

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