The Providence Friars improved to 8-5 in the BIG EAST with a 78-68 win over Rutgers on Saturday night at the DUNK. PC dominated in the first half by basically running the Scarlet Knights off the court. After some incredible ugliness on both sides in the second half, Rutgers went on a little run and cut the Friars lead to only 1 with a little over 3 minutes remaining. Providence buckled down and hit some clutch shots, and Rutgers was not able to keep up and complete their comeback bid. The story for RU was super freshman Mike Rosario’s limited time on the court due to an ankle injury he suffered against their last game against Seton Hall. In 24 minutes, Rosario only scored 5 points.
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
- The Friars had such a good shooting percentage in the first half and built their big lead by getting a lot of easy baskets. Rutgers transition defense was pretty bad, as Sharaud Curry and Geoff McDermott were able to make nice passes to lead the Friars fast break attack and set up layups for their teammates. PC finished with 44 points in the paint, with 30 of those coming in the first half.
- The Friars did an excellent job at getting to the line, but really struggled hitting their freebies in the 2nd half going 14-27 (51.9%). Even Sharaud Curry, who is in the top 10 in foul shooting in the BIG EAST, missed THREE attempts in a row.
- Rutgers held their own in the offensive rebounding department, led by a game high of 4 by big man Gregory Echenique. Marshon Brooks, Randall Hanke, and Jonathan Kale all had 3 offensive rebounds for the Friars. When Rutgers cut the lead to 1 the first time, Brooks got one of his offensive rebounds on the Friars’ next possession, and was able to put it back for a score — a huge play in the game.
OTHER STAT NOTES
Providence Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 117.3
2nd Half – 87.6
Rutgers Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 77.9
2nd Half – 103.6
Aside from their little run towards the middle of the second half, the Rutgers offense was pretty bad — especially with an ineffective and hurt Mike Rosario. RU came into the game with about a 97 offensive rating, so Providence was able to do a good job on them defensively overall.
Providence Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 56%
2nd Half – 36%
Nothing was going in for most of the second half. Open threes, tip ins…you name it. I don’t think they were taking particularly bad shots…maybe rushed a few threes early in a possession — just nothing was going in.
Rutgers Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 42%
2nd Half – 42%
Hey, at least they were consistent! Not surprised at their relatively low %, given that Mike Rosario only took 6 shots due to a bum ankle.
LET’S SERVE SOME PASTA
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.
Weyinmi Efejuku – Even though he missed a bunch of foul shots in the second half, Efejuku dominated in the 1st to give the Friars their big lead.
Sharaud Curry – Huge three with 3 minutes left gave the Friars a much needed 4 point lead
Mike Coburn – Well someone had to step up with since Mike Rosario was hurt and ineffective.
Geoff McDermott – Yet another poor offensive effort, but you can’t ignore his 12 rebounds and hustling out there.
Mike Rosario – Guess you gotta give him credit for playing even though he was obviously hurt, but Rutgers’ leading scorer was largely ineffective, scoring 5 points on 1-6 shooting.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Sharaud Curry’s Big Three with 3 minutes left
YOUR OBLIGATORY MARVIN BARNES QUOTE FOR THE GAME
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
ROUNDUP AROUND THE INTERNETS
Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Defeats Rutgers, 78-68
The Providence College men’s basketball team earned a 78-68 victory on Saturday, February 14. Senior Weyinmi Efejuku (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) led the Friars with a game-high 25 points.
ScarletKnights.com: RU Comeback Falls Short in 78-68 Loss at Providence
Rutgers (10-15, 1-11) reduced a 22-point, first-half deficit to a single digit, but would get no closer in a 78-68 loss to Providence (16-9, 8-5) Saturday evening at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Sophomore guards Mike Coburn (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) and Earl Pettis (Philadelphia, Pa.) had season scoring highs, posting 14 and 13 points respectively, to pace the Scarlet Knights’ offense.
Rutgers closed to 61-60 on a Jaron Griffin tip-in. A Sharaud Curry 3-pointer pushed the lead to 66-62 and the point guard made one of two free throws to make it 67-62 with 2:23 left. Rutgers turned the ball over as it came up the floor and Efejuku ran the ball back at the Knights for a layup and a 69-62 lead. Two more defensive stops led to three free throws that pushed the Friar lead to 72-62 with just over a minute left.
As one shot after another fell through the hoop and Providence College’s commanding lead over Rutgers shriveled Saturday night, Friars guard Weyinmi Efejuku knew something was wrong.
“The fans weren’t appreciating our effort and I didn’t appreciate our effort,” said the senior from New York. “We had to turn it up and close out the game.”
That’s exactly what the Friars did as they took Rutgers’ comeback punch and regrouped in time to come away with a 78-68 victory in front of a crowd of 11,246 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The Sun Chronicle: PC holds off Rutgers
It would have been a bad loss to a bad team, an embarrassment after having led in upwards of 20 points (four times) during the first half.
But, the Providence College Friars scored 15 points over the final three minutes of play – 11 at the free throw line – to hold off Rutgers 78-68 Saturday. But, it was no Love Affair at the Dunk.
The Truth About PC Basketball: Rutgers Notes