So Close, It Hurts

dave@friarblog —  February 5th, 2009 4:20 AM
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It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a game like this — You know, Providence comes out really flat, and falls way behind in the first half.  Late in the game they wake up and start a furious comeback, which falls juuuust short.  Painfully short.  So short I wanted to cuddle in my slanket while drinking some hot tea go lift weights.

Providence was down by as many as 20 points in the second half.  However, the Friars used the three ball to climb back into the game at around the 6 minute mark.  Weyinmi Efejuku was on fire in the 2nd, getting 21 of his 23 points in the half.   As Villanova kept drilling their foul shots in the last few minutes, PC kept firing away — Sharaud Curry (25 points, 6-10 from 3FG) hit two DEEP threes and kept the Friars barely breathing.  Efejuku even hit a ridiculous three with 1.1 seconds left to cut Nova lead to 1 — Pretty amazing considering how much they were outplayed in the first 35 minutes.  The Wildcats hit two more foul shots, and the Friars couldn’t get a last shot off to try to tie it.

Turnovers, poor defense, and rebounding ultimately did the Friars in (going 20-30 from the line didn’t help either).   PC committed 19 turnovers (12 in the sloppy first half) and Villanova pulled in 18 offensive rebounds.  The Wildcats had 3 players with 10+ total rebounds — Dante Cunningham, Dwayne Anderson, and Reggie Redding — and outrebounded the Friars 47-37 overall.

The Friars were able to make a game out of it by going 17-40 (42.5%) from behind the arc.  Jeff Xavier was 5-13, Curry was 6-10, and Efejuku was 4-7 from three point land.

Scottie Reynolds led the Wildcats with 31 points, going 13-15 from the line.  Dwayne Anderson (um, who?) set a career high with 19 points (who doesn’t against us!)

Providence falls to 6-4 in the BIG EAST, while Villanova improves to 6-3.

STUFF TO NOTE:

1. Brian McKenzie FOULED OUT of the game at the ELEVEN MINUTE mark in the 2nd half.  WTF?

2. Marshon Brooks turned his ankle in the first half and had to go to the trainers room to tape it up. He came back in the game but wasn’t really effective and didn’t see much time in the 2nd half.

3. LOST better be good tonight, or I’m REALLY going to lose it here.

4. Tim Higgins Sucks.  I mean, I rarely complain about the refs here, but that was borderline atrocious.  Please leave your thoughts on Tim Higgins here. And curse as much as possible.  I encourage it.

Despite the loss, Marvin Barnes had this to say after the game:

Xavier was probably just harmlessly dribbling here, but he probably got called for a foul or traveling for no apparent reason

QUICK LINKS

ESPN Boxscore

ESPN Recap

Check back tomorrow for the usual recap roundup.

Now on to LOST.

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