After the 73-66 win over Rutgers on Sunday afternoon, the Providence Friars are now 2-0 on the season when Friarblog.com is in attendance. This bodes well for the 2nd round of the BET!
Some thoughts before the usual recap stuff
- We got to the RAC about a half hour early. I walked up to area that overlooks the court, and the whole Friar team was right on that end stretching. I just wanted to stand there and start clapping for them, but then some 75 year old lady in a yellow security jacket told me I had to move all the way back. The nerve.
- Sat in section 212, which had a good amount of Friar fans also cheering along. There was also a Mookie sighting in the next section (213). The Rutgers fans were rather quiet until they made their comeback with a few minutes left. Not the RAC I’ve been to before.
- I had the pleasure of meeting the “Voice of the Friars” John Rooke and Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal. It was great to finally meet them in person!
- I saw Jonathan Xavier walking by as I went to the concession stand at half-time. I did not stop him, on the off-chance that he read the “Top 10 Reasons Jonathan Xavier walked on to the court” post.
Overall, it was a good afternoon in New Jersey. At least Rutgers made it interesting. The Friars have now won 4 BIG EAST road games this year, which equals their road wins of the last two seasons combined.
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
- OK, so you look at the Four Factors chart, and one thing just hits you right in the face. Getting to the line. This was a huge factor in the game, and it was mostly courtesy of Weyinmi Efejuku. The Friars were 20-25 from the line overall, and Efejuku was 15-17! In contrast, Rutgers only got to the line 8 times for the whole game. It wasn’t that the referees were favoring the Friars at all — PC just did a better job of driving to the basket (until Rutgers pulled out the zone) and drawing contact. Efejuku repeatedly blew past his man and got whistles inside as he went for “Weyups”.
- Much like Weyinmi carried the FT Rate for the Friars, Gregory Echenique carried the rebounding duties for Rutgers. The freshman big man had 16 rebounds overall, and 6 offensive boards. The Scarlet Knights turned those boards into 17 second chance points. The Friars only had 8 offensive rebounds total, with Jeff Xavier and Jonathan Kale leading the team with 2 each.
- Both teams were pretty sloppy, putting up similar turnover numbers. Rutgers had real trouble with the Friars press in the first half, especially just trying to inbound the ball. McDermott had his usual 3 or 4 travelling turnovers, and the Friars just had some sloppy passing late in the game.
OTHER STAT NOTES
Providence Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 99.3
2nd Half – 109.1
Not the Friars best game offensively, thanks to a slow start and a bad stretch which saw Rutgers get back into the game late in the second half. However, PC’s efficiency was right around where they played Rutgers two weeks ago at the DUNK (105.2). In BIG EAST games in which they won, the Friars have had two games with lower ratings — the home Cincy game (104) and the DePaul game (98.1). Overall, there were only 5 BIG EAST games that had lower offensive ratings.
Rutgers Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 76.8
2nd Half – 108.3
The Rutgers offense looked awful at times. Listening to the post game radio on the Rutgers’ station, they were saying how Mike Rosario has hit a giant freshman wall. Someone then called in and said that they have no one on the team who can consistently make open jumpshots — except Jaron Griffin, who only has 3 more games in a Rutgers uniform
Providence Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 46%
2nd Half – 58%
It’s good to see another Friar win in which they did not rely on the three-ball. PC only took 15 threes, mostly by Jeff Xavier who had 7. His huge three when Rutgers cut the lead to 3 was definitely the play of the game.
Rutgers Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 34%
2nd Half – 51%
What an ugly first half. 0-9 from downtown. I’m looking at you, Mike Rosario.
OTHER STAT OF NOTE
PC Foul Shooting
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 – When PC was pushing their lead to as high as 19, he looked unstoppable in constantly driving to the basket. So, RU kept fouling him, and he was sick 15-17 from the foul line. “GET ON MY BACK”, he says.
Jeff Xavier – Had some bad turnovers late in the game to allow Rutgers to come back, but that 3 was effing huge. 4 bowls are deserved for that.
Gregory Echenique – Had a great second half inside, and 16 freaking boards overall. I thought he was going to break the backboard on that dunk he had which brought Rutgers within 3. Plus his name is real fun to say. EchenIQUE.
Jaron Griffin – Some good shooting out there when he was in…so why did they take him out?
Mike Rosario – Freshman wall? 0-7 from downtown, and 4-17 shooting overall.
Brian McKenzie – Don’t know anymore dude
YOUR OBLIGATORY MARVIN BARNES QUOTE FOR THE GAME
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
ROUNDUP AROUND THE INTERNETS
Friars.com: Men’s Basketball Wins At Rutgers, 73-66
The Providence College men’s basketball team (18-11, 10-7 BIG EAST) defeated Rutgers University (10-19, 1-15 BIG EAST) by a score of 73-66 on Saturday, March 1 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J. Senior Weyinmi Efejuku (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) led the Friars with 28 points including a career-high 15 free throws in 17 attempts.
ScarletKnights.com: Echenique Excels in 73-66 Home Loss to Providence
Freshman forward Gregory Echenique (Guatire, Venezuela) had a monster game, scoring 14 points and registering career-highs in rebounds (16), blocks (seven) and steals (five), but it was not enough, as Rutgers (10-19, 1-15) dropped a 73-66 decision to Providence (18-11, 10-7) Sunday afternoon at the RAC.
With the season, and his teammates’ NCAA Tournament dreams, sitting on his shoulders yesterday, Jeff Xavier didn’t hesitate.
The senior from Pawtucket who loves to take the big shot fired his biggest one in two years, drilling a deep wing 3-pointer to help the Providence Friars stem a Rutgers’ rally and secure a critical 73-66 win at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.
Projo.com: PC’s reward: a bye in Big East tourney
At this point of the season, Weyinmi Efejuku is dealing with information overload when the discussion turns to the Friars and their NCAA Tournament chances.
Like every other Providence College basketball fan, Efejuku is watching games on TV, checking out bracket-bubble updates online and hearing all sorts of prognostications on where the Friars stand in their quest for the program’s first NCAA berth since 2004.
KMac First Half Blog Post: No Snow; PC Waking Up
KMac Post Game Blog Post: PC Gets Clutch Win, 73-66
As usual they made things very, very interesting but the Providence Friars have taken care of business and beaten Rutgers today, 73-66.
The Friars led by seven points and built a 19-point second half lead but Rutgers stormed back to cut the lead to just three points with three minutes left. But the Friars answered, with Jeff Xavier draining a huge 3-pointer that began a 9-2 run that broke the game open once again.
To win in the Big East, some days you have to be good and some days you have to be lucky. And some days, you just have to heave up a 31-footer and hope that it stops the bleeding.
Star-Ledger college basketball writer Brendan Prunty has all of the answers about Rutgers’ 73-66 loss to Providence Sunday afternoon, including why watching the Scarlet Knights is so maddening
NJ.com: Live Blog of the Game
ZagsBlog: Providence Bolsters Tourney Resume
The Friars toyed with a major choke job but ultimately accomplished the mission.
Boston.com: Providence rallies to beat Rutgers 73-66
“I felt like what was important was that we finished in the top half of the Big East,” Davis said. “If you finish in the top half in the best league in the country, I can live with that. Whether they put us in or not, I feel like we’re deserving.”