#21 Providence Friars 70 (12-1)
#15 Seton Hall Pirates 65 (9-2)
First off, both that throwback jersey and the picture of Al Durham are amazing. I wanted to get that off my chest immediately before I talk about the game at all. The visiting Seton Hall Pirates were a little short-handed during their visit to The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, only having 8 players available for the game. Starting 7’2” Center Ike Ogiagu was out, along with third leading scorer Tyrese Samuel. Although Ogiagu only plays about 16 minutes a game and provides next to nothing offensively, he would have made a difference on the defensive end with his size, ability to block shots (2.7 bpg), and just as an additional body. Samuel’s absence was much more of an impact for the Pirates as the team had to rely so heavily on other guys to carry more of the scoring load. It doesn’t help that both guys missing in action were frontcourt players either, I’m sure. I’ll give some kudos for Kevin Willard for playing the game and not trying to use every excuse in the world like Dan Hurley is trying to do these days.
Providence took full advantage of the unlucky Pirates squad, out-rebounding them 33 to 28 and being aggressive offensively to force a few of their guys into some foul trouble, further tightening up their available rotation of players. Noah Horchler was fire from three, hitting 5 of 6, en route to a team-high 17 points and 13 rebounds. Five Friars finished the game in double-figures, with Nate Watson (14), Jared Bynum (14), Al Durham (12), & A.J. Reeves (11) joining Horchler in a total team win.
- This was Noah Horchler’s single best game since becoming a Friar. Those back-to-back trailing threes were a thing of beauty to watch.
- He led the Friars in points (17), rebounds (13), blocks (3), and steals (2). His 5 made threes mark a new career-high for the 5th year Senior.
- This marks Noah’s 5th double-double of the season after only recording one all of last year.
- What are we thinking of Horchler’s man bun? I think I’m in…yeah, definitely a fan.
- Jared Bynum continued to play superbly since coming back from his ankle injury. He came off the bench once more, scoring 14 points on 6/11 shooting, to go along with a team-high 4 assists.
- Al Durham closed the game from with his freebies, once again thriving with his ability to get to the line and make his free throws count (8/10).
- Nate Watson has some really nice passes from down low, accounting for 2 assists, while scoring 14 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.
- Nate also became the 18th Friar to score 1,500 at Providence.
- Although A.J. didn’t catch fire from three for the umpteenth game in a row (1/6), he drove the basket with purpose and converted on drive after drive to the tune of 11 points.
- With his bombs not connecting, Reeves found other ways to contribute, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists. Reeves is playing the best ball of his PC career and is sporting career-highs in points and assists.
- Justin Minaya has the sweetest block on a driving Jared Rhoden. I like a good stuff more than a swat any day. It feels so much more of a shot to the confidence of the opposing player.
- With a thin frontline, I was expecting Rhoden and Bryce Aiken to pick up the slack but the two guards combined to shoot a combined 7/23 from the floor.
- The depleted roster for Hall did have one silver lining, it looks like they have a player in Alexis Yetna. With his uptick in minutes, Yetna looked especially good on his way to a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He makes up for his lack of height with his thick size and added 2 blocks and 2 steals on a very good defensive night for the USF transfer.
- And just like that, the Friars have 5 Quad 1 wins, 2 more than any other team in the country.
- By far the highlight of the game was this in-huddle speech from Ed Cooley. Be Them Dudes is officially the slogan of this year’s team. I think that’s obvious.
- I’m going with Noah for the best pic by default since he was the player of the game. Also, I haven’t seen his hair down for a while, so I’ll give him double points for that one. The Dunk, where ranked teams go to die…
Up Next, the Friars travel to Chicago to take on a supposedly much improved DePaul squad on Saturday at 3 PM on FOX.