Game Recap: Friars Get Back on Track with 82-78 Close Call Against Stony Brook

Providence Friars (6-5) 82

Stony Brook Seawolves (7-5) 78

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Luwane Pipkins submitted his best game as a Friar this season, finishing with a season-high 21 points and 7 assists.  Since seemingly having a shorter leash put upon him over the last three games after scoring a total of 5 points on an abominable 2-19 shooting from the floor, Pipkins responded in a big way when the Friars needed him to.  Pipkins was offensively more aggressive and mostly took the shots within the flow of the offense.

David Duke matched Pipkins 21 points, and provided the complimentary offensive output that was absolutely necessary in a narrow 4 point win over the visiting Stony Brook Seawolves.

The Friars barely escaped with a much needed win after once again letting their opponent claw themselves back into the game, but a win is a win, and I’m just happy to be back to winning.

Game Notes:

  • I want to give Pipkins another shout, just because he needed this game just as much as the Friars needed to have him have this game.
  • Over Pip’s previous 4 games, he had shot 6-33 (18.2%) from the floor and 4-19 (21.1%) from three.  Previously, when Pipkins had a cold shooting night, he had made up for it with a bunch of assists.  However, over the last 4 games, he had racked up almost as many turnovers as assists, recording 12 assists and 11 turnovers.  Hopefully this game gets Pipkins back on track to where he was at the beginning of the season.
  • Luwane’s 21 points were a Friars career-high for him and he was able to hit 3-7 from three, while handing out 7 assists in the process.
  • The one aspect of Pipkins game that has been absolutely stellar throughout the season is his free throw shooting.  Pipkins drilled all 10 of his free throw attempts and remains at a perfect 100% from the line.  He is now 22-22 from the free throw line and being a seasoned veteran, does not seem to feel the pressure when stepping to the line.  That is going to come in very handy once the Big East games start.
  • Not to be upstaged by Pip, David Duke matched his 21 point output and continued to show his vast shooting improvement.  Duke also went perfect from the free throw line, hitting all 5 of his attempts and went 4-6 from deep.  After shooting just 29.7% from three and 68.9% from the free throw line last year, Duke is currently shooting an insane 52.9% from three and 85.4% from the free throw line this year.
  • Much like Pipkins, Alpha Diallo also had a bounce back game of his own.  After struggling with his shot over the last three games, shooting just 13-40 (32.5%), Diallo recorded his first double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) since doing so in each of the first three games of the season, and failing to do so over the previous 7 games.  That makes 20 career double-doubles for Diallo (4 this year, 10 last year, and 6 the year before).
  • Diallo’s 17 points were his most since the opening game against Sacred Heart (19 points).
  • A.J. Reeves looks like he may have taken his first step in returning to the A.J. that we all know and love that started last season.  Reeves hit 3-8 three point shots, matching the most made threes in a game for the Sophomore this season since hitting 3-6 in the season opener.  Reeves was ice cold over the last 8 games, shooting 3-19 (15.8%) from three point range over those game.  I know it may sound cliche but he needs to keep on shooting to get himself out of this funk.  Shooters shoot, and the only way he can build back his confidence is to start hitting some shots and see the ball go through the hoop.  It sounds simple but it’s hard to get out of your own head sometimes, especially when you’re struggling so mightily.  Reeves seems to be ready to shoot though as he attempted 11 shots in just 14 minutes of playing time.  I have faith that things are going to turn the corner for him and the Friars desperately needed that outside threat.
  • Greg Gantt got his much deserved first start of the season and the Friars won the game.  Coincidence?  We shall see.
  • Nate Watson continues to ramp up his playing time and showcased a little range with an 8-10 footer showing up in this game.  Watson finished with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in 19 minutes.
  • Stony Brook didn’t have much of a bench to depend on during the game, so once some of their players got into foul trouble, it was harder for them to complete their comeback.  Only 1 player from their bench scored (Mouhamado Ugueye), recording 9 points, while the rest of the bench combined to go scoreless over 19 total minutes.
  • Junior guard Elijah Olaniyi was pretty spectacular for the Seawolves, scoring a game-high 25 points on 9-15 shooting, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists over a Bryce Cotton-like 38 minutes.  He led the team in all of those statistics as well.

Up Next, the Friars head to Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center to take on Florida in the second game of the inaugural Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.

P.S. Be careful if you want to wear URI gear to a PC game…

P.P.S. These will never get old. The players always seem to look as happy as the young kids in these.

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