Game Recap: Friars Open Up Big East Play with a 76-60 Win Over a Shorthanded Georgetown

Providence Friars (8-6) 76

Georgetown Hoyas (10-4) 60

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Welcome to 2020, where the Providence Friars are an undefeated basketball team!  The Friars got off to a scorching hot start, finishing the first half with a 31-point advantage over the visiting Georgetown Hoyas to begin their Big East Conference slate.  Heading into the half with a 54-23 lead, the second half was kind of hard for the Friars to get up for.

Each team, the Hoyas and the Friars, set season-low point totals in one of the two halves of the game.  The Hoyas scored a season-low 23-points in the first half, while the Friars scored a season-low 22-points in the second half.  Fortunately for Providence, they did more than enough in the first 20 minutes to come away with a 16-point win.

Alpha Diallo led the Friars, tying a season-high with 20 points and grabbing a team-high 8 rebounds.  Luwane Pipkins continues to show that his recent offensive resurgence isn’t a fluke, scoring 14 points, while A.J. Reeves hopes to have this game start an offensive resurgence of his own, finishing with 13 points, and reminding everyone how he can score in bunches.  David Duke rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Friars, stuffing the stat sheet with 10 points, 8 assists, & 6 rebounds.

Game Notes:

  • I was really looking forward to watch the Mac McClung and Luwane Pipkins match-up after their playful little interaction at Big East Media Day before this season.
  • Unfortunately, McClung was forced to sit out the game with an eye injury that he suffered in the first half against American in the previous game.
  • In addition to being without McClung, Georgetown was also down four other players who have officially transferred from the team, including Josh LeBlanc, Galen Alexander, Myron Gardner, & James Akinjo.  LeBlanc, Alexander, and Gardner were accused of burglary and harassment, while Akinjo seemingly decided to transfer on his on fruition.
  • PC had their second straight game against an opponent with a poor alternate uniform decision.  Check out this freaking thing:

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  • The Friars played their most complete half of basketball this season in the first half of the game.  Not only was the defense its usual superb self, holding the Hoyas to a season-low 23-points in the first half, but their offense was clicking on all cylinders, pouring in 54 first half points.  The 54-point surge from the Friars were their most in a half this season since scoring 59-points in the first half of their season opener against Sacred Heart.
  • I don’t want to get too high after just one game, but A.J. Reeves looked like the A.J. Reeves of old in this game.  Reeves hit 3-8 threes, totaling 13 points and added 5 rebounds and a pair of steals in 20 minutes.
  • You could literally feel the confidence flooding back into his veins at the end of the first half.  In doing so, he transferred that confidence in himself onto Cooley who played him the most minutes of any guy off the bench.
  • Alpha Diallo tied a season-high with 20 points, shooting an efficient 7-12 for the game, including 2-4 from three point land.  The best part about his performance (besides everything), was that he was 4-4 from the free throw line.
  • Just for fun, he also led the team with 8 rebounds and 4 steals.  Diallo has 13 steals over the last 4 games, good for 3.25 per game over that span.  In fact, let’s just check out his averages over the last four games altogether shall we?
    • 17.8 ppg
    • 11.0 rpg
    • 3.0 apg
    • 3.25 spg
  • If he can continue to keep that 3-point percentage and free throw percentage respectable, then he’ll be that First Team All-Big East Preseason selection that he was projected to be this year.
  • David Duke bounced right back from a slightly down previous game against Texas to be the versatile guard that Friartown expects.  Duke finished the game with 10 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds, chipping in a steal and a MONSTER block for good measure.
  • That block was absolutely ridiculous.
  • To make the 8 assists even sweeter, Duke only turned the ball over once over the course of the game.  The 8 assists tied a season-high for Duke that he recorded in the season opener against Sacred Heart.  I feel like every single time someone ties a career-high of some sort, it’s always from the game against Sacred Heart…naturally.
  • Luwane Pipkins keeps showing out.  His shooting stroke has completely turned around he’s probably started to bring Ed Cooley flashbacks of the times he tortured the Friars in the past at UMass.
  • Pipkins scored 14 points on 4-7 shooting, including 2-5 from deep.  His assists have gone down as his scoring has improved but others have been able to pick up that slack as the team continually moves the ball with Pip’s penetration to the basketball and real threat of an outside shot now.
  • Over the last 4 games, Pipkins is averaging 13.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.25 rpg, all while shooting 50% from the field (14-28), 50% from three (10-20), and 100% from the free throw line (15-15).
  • Oh, and he’s still 100% from the free throw line on the year, hitting all 27 attempts so far this season.
  • Big Nate was 4-5 from the floor for 8 points and Kalif Young went scoreless but only attempted 1 shot in 15 minutes.
  • However, the bigger thing was that they held Georgetown Center Omer Yurtseven to 14 points.  The Senior graduate transfer was averaging 23.7 ppg over his previous three games on 16 shot attempts per contest.  Although Yurtseven was an efficient 6-8 from the floor, he was only able to get 8 shot attempts up against Young and Watson due to their active intensity in the post.  In turn, the Hoyas were forced into having their guards chuck up the majority of their shots.  Terrell Allen and Jahvon Blair combined to go 6-29 from the floor and 3-12 from three, playing into what the Friars were trying to do on defense.  Basically, it was to limit Omer and force other guys to beat them, which they couldn’t.
  • Maliek was his usual steady self off the bench, scoring 4 points and dishing 3 assists.
  • One of my favorite things is when Coach Cooley rags on someone for wearing any other team’s apparel around him.
  • But my real favorite thing is the A Wish Come True, this time with young A.J.

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  •  As for the winning team picture in the locker room, I would say it’s between Nate and Emmitt but I’m giving the nod to Emmitt this time because Nate won last game with the same pose.

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Up Next, the Friars go on the road and face a much improved DePaul team in Chicago on Saturday at 2 PM on Fox Sports 1.

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