Burn Those Couches on Eaton Street, We Beat #1 Pitt! [Game Recaps]

dave@friarblog —  February 25th, 2009 6:51 AM
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What I wouldn’t give to be a student back at Providence College right now.  Should be good times all around.  It’s not like you have to go to class anyway!

Congratulations to the players (especially the SENIORS and their families), the coaches and staff, and all the Friar fans out there!  We will enjoy this win FOREVER!

Here is your usual post game round-up shananigans.


more on the Four Factors

Stats by StatSheet.com

- With both teams having similar shooting nights, what was the difference?  Turnovers played a huge part in this game, especially Pittsburgh’s carelessness in the first half.   In that half, Providence was able to get 12 points off of 10 Pittsburgh turnovers.  PC was really careful with the ball, and only committed 3 turnovers in the 1st — and Pittsburgh did not score off any of them.  In the second half it was almost even.  It seemed like most of the Friars turnovers came within the last few minutes after Pitt started to press them after made baskets.  The Panthers were able to get 10 points off the Friars’ 6 turnovers.  However, Providence kept up with that, getting 7 points off of 6 second half Pitt miscues.

- The free throw disparity was pretty large.  Pitt was called for 24 fouls versus the PC’s 15.  As a result, the Friars went to the line 29 times (25 of the them in the 2nd half) and really capilized by going 75% from the charity stripe.  Weyinmi Efejuku was able to drive and get to the line a bunch — he was 9-10 .

- Although Pitt won the battle on the boards, PC really held their own.  DeJuan Blair, who has been known to get 20+ rebounds, was held to only 8 boards (4 offensive, game high).  Pitt had the overall rebounding advantage of 33-27, but only held a 12-9 offensive rebounding lead.  Hanke and Xavier led the Friars with 2 offensive rebounds each, as Geoff McDermott had an unusual 3 rebound night (lowest since the Baylor game, in which he got hurt in).

Stats by StatSheet.com


For more information on advanced stats, check out Ken Pomeroy’s ‘Stats Explained’ and his ‘Stats Primer


Providence Offensive Rating by Half:

1st Half – 129.8

2nd Half – 103.1

Game: 117.4

The Friars only had a better rating against Syracuse, Seton Hall, and Cincinnati in BIG EAST conference games.  Pretty impressive, considering Pittsburgh came into the game with the 27th best defensive rating in the country.

Pittsburgh Offensive Rating by Half:

1st Half – 74.6

2nd Half – 129.6

Game: 105.8

Pittsburgh actually came into the game with the #1 rated offense in efficiency, with a ridiculous 124.2 rating.  While they got on track in the 2nd half against the Friars, their 105.8 overall rating was their 6th worst of the season — 3rd in BIG EAST games (Villanova: 87.4, Louisville: 86.7).

Providence Effective FG % by Half:

1st Half – 56%

2nd Half – 50%

Game: 54%

Shocking statistic of the night was the fact that the Friars only took 12 three pointers — tying their season low that they also set in the Louisville game.  They took a lot of inside shots, and were able to put together some good consistent shooting numbers.

Pittsburgh Effective FG % by Half:

1st Half – 41%

2nd Half – 63%

Game: 53%

Pittsburgh hit their season average of eFG% right on the money.  Of course they were not as good in the first half so they were constantly playing from behind.


Points in the Paint in the first half

Providence: 33

Pittsburgh: 14


Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.

Weyinmi Efejuku

Geoff McDermott

Jonathan Kale

Jeff Xavier

Randall Hanke

You all deserve the FOUR BOWLS OF PASTA!!!

Ashton Gibbs:  I wonder why this guy was so awesome in drilling threes?  Oh, he’ from JERSEY!

DeJuan Blair: Yeah he had 16 points and 8 rebounds…also had 5 turnovers and fouled out

Sam Young: Seriously how old is this guy?

Levance Fields: only 2-7 from the field and 7 points



StatSheet.com Boxscore

Friars.com Boxscore

AP Boxscore [ESPN.com]



ESPN Recap Page

The Sports Network

AP Photos

Newsday.com: Whoa. Did Providence just make the NCAA tournament?


Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Defeats No. 1/1 Pittsburgh 81-73

The Providence College men’s basketball team (16-11, 8-7 BIG EAST) upset No. 1/1 Pittsburgh (25-2, 12-2 BIG EAST) by a score of 81-73 on Tuesday, February 24 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. It was just the second time Providence had knocked off the No. 1 team in the country and the first time since Dec. 29, 1976 when PC beat then No. 1 Michigan 82-81 in double overtime. With the win, PC improved to 2-10 all-time vs. top-ranked opponents.

KMac First Half Blog Post: PC Rolling at Half, 44-26

Projo.com: Some one-upmanship for Friars: PC stuns No. 1 Pittsburgh

The Friars pulled off the biggest upset possible, stunning number-one-ranked Pittsburgh, 81-73, before a delirious crowd of 11,887 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. It was PC’s second win ever over a top-ranked team, joining the historic, double-overtime victory over Michigan back in 1976.

After the final buzzer rang and the crowd had finished dancing onto the floor in celebration, the five seniors who painted a classic Senior Night masterpiece juggled a mixture of happiness, relief and excitement in their heads.

Projo.com: PC postgame: Davis ‘can’t think of [a victory] that would be more gratifying’

I haven’t had many games as a coach so I’d say yes,” said Davis. “I can’t think of one that would be more gratifying. To be able to do it when all the chips are down and everybody is writing you off, to come back and give that effort was great for our seniors.”

Projo.com: Bill Reynolds: Friars recapture some of their old magic at The Dunk

It also came on Senior Night, a wonderful sendoff for five PC seniors who have had a roller-coaster ride through the minefield that’s the Big East the last four years, five seniors who had a game last night out of some basketball fantasy, knocking off the No. 1 team in the country in their last game at The Dunk.

Projo.com: Kale, Hanke turn tables on Pitt powerhouse Blair

Tuesday night at The Dunk, however, it was the Friars’ big men who looked like the strongest players on the court. The combination of Jon Kale and Randall Hanke held the powerful Blair in check, and their efficient play against him was a key to Providence’s stunning victory.

Pawtucket Times: Xavier emotional on Senior Night

Pawtucket native Jeff Xavier promised he wouldn’t become emotional. Then again, Senior Night has a way of touching the heart of even the thickest exteriors.
The tears that poured out of Xavier Tuesday night were no question legit. Flanked by his parents, Alice and Pedro Xavier, along with fiancée, Marisa Seander, Xavier tried his best to compose himself as he made his way to center court.

Pawtucket Times: Friars shock No. 1 Pittsburgh

For Geoff McDermott, Jeff Xavier, Randall Hanke, Jonathan Kale and Weyinmi Efejuku, better late than never.
In a performance that rocked the foundation of college basketball, Providence College supplied the shockwaves by upsetting top-ranked Pittsburgh, 81-73, Tuesday night at a vibrant Dunkin’ Donuts Center. PC slays the nation’s No. 1 ranked team for the second time in school history, the first since 1976 when Michigan came to town possessor of the country’s top billing.

The Truth About PC Basketball: Believe.

Immediately before the game, an old Friar legend made a bold prediction to the Friar Fanatic contingent in Purgatory Pit North. Ernie DiGregorio responded to yells of “ERNIE!” by saying, “We are definitely going to win tonight.”

As it turns out, when Ernie D makes a prediction, you had better listen.


PittsburghPanthers.com: No. 1 Pittsburgh Falls to Providence

Blair, the reigning Big East Player of the Week, averaged 21 points and 20.5 rebounds in wins over No. 1 Connecticut and DePaul that elevated the Panthers to the top spot on Monday. But he picked up two quick fouls – his third and fourth – midway through the second half.

PittsburghLive.com: Underdog Providence shocks No. 1 Pitt

One day after reaching No. 1 for the second time in school history, Pitt gave one of its worst efforts in recent memory.

The Panthers looked like a bubble team rather than a hopeful No. 1 seed in an 81-73 loss Tuesday night at Providence.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Flat Tuesday: Friars tuck away upset victory against top-ranked, error-prone Panthers

Looking nothing like the No. 1 team in the nation — or a team that is threatening to make the NCAA tournament for much of the night — Pitt was defeated by Providence, 81-73, in a contest that could damage the Panthers’ hopes of landing the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament next month.

AOL Fanhouse (Chas Rich): No. 1 Panthers No-Show in Provide

It was senior night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for the Providence Friars. The Friars’ bubble had seemingly been burst by their home loss to Notre Dame Saturday. Somehow that proved to be the perfect mix for the latest No. 1 upset in college basketball’s skittish season as Providence shocked Pitt.

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