Game Recap: Providence Gets Smoked by Alabama 88-71 in the 5th Place Game of the Maui Invitational

Providence College (2-2) 71

Alabama Crimson Tide (3-1) 88

Despite starting fast with quick 8-0 lead, Alabama responded with a 9-0 run of their own and never trailed again in the game after that. Although the Friars were able to make a couple of spirited mini-runs in the 2nd half, the Crimson Tide were never in any real danger of giving this game back to Providence.

Alabama has been one of the most fire-happy three-point shooting teams in the nation under Coach Nate Oats and continued with the green light, shooting 29 threes and connecting on 12 of them (41.4%). For whatever reason, even though they can’t make any kind of decent amount, the Friars continue to fall in love with the three-point shot. Providence shot 23 threes, making 5 of them (21.7%).

The Friars were led by David Duke (19 pts), Nate Watson (17 pts), and A.J. Reeves (10 pts) while the Crimson Tide had a more balanced scoring attack with 5 different players in double-figures en route to an easy victory in Asheville, NC.

Game Notes:

  • David Duke led the Friars in points (19), assists (6), and rebounds (4).
  • He also led the team with 4 turnovers which accounted for almost half of the team’s total turnovers for the game (9).
  • Duke’s points came on just 5-13 shooting but he continues to shot consistently high percentages from 3 (2-5) and the free throw line (7-7). Through 4 games, he is shooting 46.7% from three and 89.5% from the line which are both improvements even from the jump his numbers took from his Freshman to Sophomore seasons.
  • Nate Watson looked unstoppable once again in the post but faced some foul trouble for the first time this season, limiting him to 19 minutes of action. Watson struggled staying in the game at time’s last year but seems to have gotten that mostly in check so far. The Friars desperately need him on the floor, especially since they can’t make teams pay from the outside.
  • Big Nate shot 6-8 from the floor and 5-6 from the free throw line, further proving that his free throw game is tight once again after an off-year last season while slowly playing his way through a knee injury.
  • Watson is carrying the team offensively this year, averaging 18.5 ppg on 60.7% shooting and converting a career-best 75% from the charity stripe.
  • We’re still waiting on A.J. Reeves to get hot from three but I’m still on the side of wanting him to keep shooting until he does.
  • Reeves finished with 10 points on 3-8 shooting but only connected on 1 of his 5 three-point attempts.
  • Jared Bynum had a game that I’m sure he’d like to forget. Bynum went scoreless going 0-7 from the floor on the night, including 0-4 from three. Bynum has still not hit a three-pointer this season on 11 tries.
  • On a sliver of a high note, he did dish out 4 assists to just 1 turnover, which actually lowered his assist to turnover ratio to 9:1.
  • Greg Gantt played a season-high 29 minutes but only had 3 field goal attempts and 3 points to show for it. I’d love for him to increase his aggressiveness on the offensive end to match his intensity on the defensive side.
  • Alyn Breed was the brightest spot to come out of this game for the Providence Friars.
  • Breed looks like he can become a legitimate contributor for this year’s squad.
  • As he’s only been on the team for four games, he was able to set quite a few career marks: FGs (4), 3-pt FGs (1), rebounds (3), steals (1), & points (9).
  • Breed has shown a sense of urgency on offense, attacking rather than settling for jump shots. He’s also very active on defense and I was impressed with his all-around game. He certainly made the most of his minutes and has earned some more PT in my opinion.
  • Jimmy Nichols finally got some extended playing time and showed flashes of what got Friartown so excited during his Freshman season. His combination of size and athleticism makes you drool at the possibilities.
  • Nichols scored 6 points, going a perfect 4-4 from the line.
  • Noah Horchler played just 6 minutes. I’m guessing that might be due to Alabama being so three-heavy offensively?
  • Ed Croswell does everything well except shoot free throws. After going 1-5 against ‘Bama, he is now 2-12 on the season. It may be hard to stay on the floor unless he picks that up a good deal.

Next Up, the Friars do not take on URI in the Ocean State Rivalry but instead, face Fairleigh Dickenson back at Alumni Hall in Providence on Saturday at 4:30 PM.

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