Game Recap: Friars Make it Four in a Row with an Overtime Win at Marquette

Providence Friars (10-6) 81

Marquette Golden Eagles (11-4) 80 OT

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Long live the retro away jerseys!

The Friars won their second straight road game and are currently on a four game winning streak.  After being left for dead by many (not me) after some very questionable losses to being their non-conference schedule, Providence suddenly seems like they can’t be stopped and are playing up to the potential that had them picked to finish fourth in the conference by the Big East coaches.

The Friars have now rolled off wins against Texas, Georgetown, DePaul, and Marquette and find themselves at the top of the Big East Conference rankings with a 3-0 conference record.  After failing to record at win at Marquette throughout the history between the two teams, the Friars have now won in Milwaukee in 3 of the last 4 trips there.

The scoring of the Friars bench has been a gigantic contributor their new found success.  In the last two games the PC bench has outscored DePaul’s bench 26-8 and Marquette’s bench 42-8.  The depth of this team has been on full display led by Senior Maliek White and Junior Nate Watson.  Maliek White was the best player on the floor for the Friars for the second straight game.  After leading the team in scoring against DePaul (16), White again led the charge offensively, scoring a game-high 19 points.

Five Friars finished in double figures including White (19), Watson (13), Alpha Diallo (12), David Duke (12), and AJ Reeves (10).

Game Notes:

  • The Friars better not stop wearing these retro away jerseys any time soon and in fact, they should be their standard away jerseys rather than the occasional alternate one.

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  • Those things are fresh to death.
  • Let’s start things off with the hero of the game, AJ Reeves.
  • Don’t look now, but Reeves is starting to find his stroke again.  After hitting just 9 threes through the first 11 games of the season, Reeves has now hit 6 threes in the past 4 games.
  • AJ played the most minutes of any game this season (31) and Cooley seemed like he wanted to give minutes to the guys who had things going.  To that effective Reeves and Maliek White (35 mins) got starters minutes while Luwane Pipkins (12 mins) and Emmitt Holt (21 mins) were given a lesser role in this one.  Pipkins also struggled with foul trouble during the game but there was no way that White was coming out with the way he was playing.
  • So, about AJ…

Even better than the announcers of the Fox Sports 1 feed, who were generally pretty terrible as the continually called the Big East the Big Ten, threw an ‘S’ on the end of David Duke’s last name, and mixed up players on the team at every chance they could, FriarTV put the video feed to the Rooke and Hassett radio call…and it is tremendous.

  • I know I always shout the praises of FrairTV, but they’re well deserved and I’ll keep on doing it.
  • The play that Cooley drew up for the final shot was executed to perfection.
  • I feel like I personally root for AJ harder than anyone else on the team and I’m not totally sure why.  Maybe it’s because of the injury stuff he’s had to go through or it might just be that he seems like such a genuinely great kid that deserves success.
  • Reeves finished with 10 points on 4-7 shooting, including 2-5 from three.  The second made three came in overtime and was another big time shot.  AJ has recorded multiple steals in 3 of the last 4 games as well, so it’s not just his shooting that has started to pick up.
  • Maliek White was a revelation.  Finishing with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists without a single turnover in 35 minutes, White was the catalyst for the Friars the whole game.
  • In Big East play, White is currently averaging 13.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.3 rpg, and 1.0 spg, all while shooting 6-11 (54.5%) from three.
  • White also managed to get to the foul line 13 times.  To put that in perspective, his previous high this season was 7 free throw attempts and his career-high in attempts was 8, which he did once last year.  Through his first three seasons, he attempted 90 free throws total.  He’s basically doubled his free throw attempts this season and continues to shoot over 70% (70.7%) from the stripe.
  • Nate Watson was a force down low, eventually fouling out of the game after playing just 19 minutes.  The big guy matchup of Watson and Marquette’s Theo John never materialized and John seemed to want to see how fast he could foul out of the game.  His stat line of 0 points in 14 minutes is not that great in my personal opinion.
  • Big Nate went on a scoring spree at one point, putting in 4 buckets in what seemed like a matter of seconds against an overmatched Jayce Johnson in the post.
  • Alpha Diallo had another double-double, although this one was a little quieter given how the rest of the team was playing.  Diallo finished with 12 points, a game-high 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
  • In a throwback to Bryce Cotton, Alpha put on his hardhat and played 43 minutes out of a possible 45.  I’m going to try to ignore the two bad turnovers at the end of regulation since we won the game, but if we lost, I have a feeling that I still wouldn’t be done talking about them.
  • That makes 23 career double-doubles for Diallo (7 this year, 10 last year, and 6 the year before).
  • The last Friars player in double-figures was my guy David Duke.  Not only was he able to be effective on the offensive end, but even more impressively, he was able to make Markus Howard work for every single thing on the defensive side.  Every single shot was contested as Duke stalked him around the court.  If you were to just look at the box score, you would see Howard got 39 points and would assume that he just dominated the game and was unstoppable, but that wouldn’t be the case.  Howard needed 33 shots to get those 39 points, shooting 14-33 from the floor.  Markus did get hot to start the second half and he can fill it up in a hurry, but he can’t do everything.  Providence also stuck to their game plan of trying to limit the amount of times that Howard got to the line since he is one of, if not the best, free throw shooter in the country.  That’s where he racks up the points.  He was only able to get to the line 5 times (although he hit all 5 of course), lower than his 8+ attempts that he’s averaging this season.
  • Oh, and there was also this…
  • Emmitt Holt and Kalif Young were both efficient and effective whenever they were on the floor.  The two combined to score 14 points on 5-8 shooting.
  • Kalif continues to knock my socks off with his improvement from the free throw line.  After shooting 37.0%, 49.2%, and 51.4% respectively in each of his first three seasons, Young has been hitting free throws at a 65.0% clip this year.  Not only that, but he’s got a shiny new 8-10 foot jumper that looks smooth as hell.
  • But please, PLEASE, stop fouling guys at the end of a close game.  Even if I think it was a soft call, you just can’t do it.
  • Over the past four games (Texas, Georgetown, DePaul, & Marquette) of the current win streak, the Friars defense has held their opponents to just 27.75 points in the first half.
  • Marquette’s Jayce Johnson’s shooting form is, well, it’s something.
  • This is my new favorite thing in the world at this very moment.
  • A nice little shoutout from PC Alum Cayleigh Griffin, who now works with the Houston Rockets.
  • And to answer your question, yes, yes we are.
  • Us. We. Together. Family. Friars.
  • The winner of the post game picture is a little tougher this time around after such a good win.  I feel biased if I go with Nate every time but how can you not pick him when he shows out like this.

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  •  One more thing…

Up Next, the Friars return home on Friday to take on the #6 ranked Butler Bulldogs at The Dunk.  The game starts at 9 PM, so the crowd should be nice and lubed up by then. 

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