Well, we knew going in it was going to be a tough game to win. Playing the #16 team in the nation on the road in a place where the team hasn’t lost in 27 games would require playing some of the best basketball of the season. The Friars played far from their best, losing to Villanova 97-80 on Thursday night. While they certainly could have locked up an NCAA bid with a victory tonight, they will get another chance next week in the BET.
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
- When you look at the four factors, you might think “hey, the Friars dominated at getting to the line, and went toe-to-toe in the important categories of shooting and rebounding? Great!”. In most cases that would great, but the disparity in turnover percentage was too much to overcome for Providence. The Friars committed 22 turnovers (a nice symmetric 11 in each half) thanks to a ridiculous 19 steals by Villanova. The Wildcats took full advantage of PC’s sloppiness, scoring 36 points off of those turnovers. The 29.3% TO% was almost Providence’s worst of the season — it was third to opener against Northeastern (30.3%) and the Louisville debacle (30.7%). It basically meant that they turned the ball over once every 3 possessions. Yeah that sounds about right.
- Providence did a good job on the boards, finishing with a 40-38 overall advantage. Both Kale (11) and McDermott (10) had double-digit rebounds, while no one on Villanova had higher than 8. McDermott and Dante Cunningham each had a game-high 4 offensive rebounds. Jeff Xavier had 3 offensive boards, and has 7 total over the last 3 games.
- Weyinmi Efejuku once again led the charge of getting to the line, with a game high 13 free throw attempts (he made 9 for 69%). This was the third straight game that Efejuku has gone to the line 10+ times. Jonathan Kale had the highest FT Rate of the game (200), going 8-10 from the line on only 5 FG attempts.
OTHER STAT NOTES
Providence Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 75.0
2nd Half – 109.7
Everyone but Efejuku struggled out of the gate…once he cooled off the Friars had nothing going. Some better three point shooting in the 2nd allowed them to stay at striking distance, but the offense didn’t catch fire like the last meeting against Nova.
Villanova Offensive Rating by Half:
1st Half – 116.5
2nd Half – 143.8
Not quite the 160 rating that UCONN stuck on the Friars in the 2nd half of that ugly game, but it was sure close. It’s a bit misleading however, since in the last 3 minutes of the game, the Friars frantically turned the ball over and Nova had numerous easy buckets. The Nova offense was still excellent overall.
Providence Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 37%
2nd Half – 60%
Right around the ‘ol season average. The Friars needed to go above and beyond that to keep up with Villanova.
Villanova Effective FG % by Half:
1st Half – 47%
2nd Half – 68%
Nova shot better from behind the arc than they did shooting twos in the first half. They shot a blistering 13-25 from three-point land overall, but it honestly felt like somewhere around 75%.
(AP Photo/Michael Perez)
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.
Scottie Reynolds – The wouldn’t miss. Again.
Weyinmi Efejuku – Thought he was going to go for 40 after scoring 10 in the first 3 minutes
Dwayne Anderson – Oh boy do I hate you even more. Get f’d.
Dante Cunningham – Shoulda gotten a flagrant for all those elbows he was throwing around.
Sharaud Curry – Had some nice threes, but he drives to the lane were not so sucessful. Nova’s defense was just stifling.
Randall Hanke – Dropped a bunch of passes, got beat down low on D. Not his best night by far.
Brian McKenzie – …..
YOUR OBLIGATORY MARVIN BARNES QUOTE FOR THE GAME
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
ROUNDUP AROUND THE INTERNETS
Friars.com: Providence Falls To Villanova 97-80
They had to work to win this one, and didn’t turn it into a rout until the final few minutes. The Wildcats kept up the pressure against the Friars, forced turnovers and converted them into easy baskets.
Villanova.com: Nova Notebook Post-game: Seniors Impressed Their Coach
It wasn’t officially senior night on Thursday at the Pavilion – that had taken place two weeks earlier before the Nova Nation student population headed off on spring break – but in the eyes of Villanova head coach Jay Wright, it was very much a fitting sendoff for seniors Dwayne Anderson, Shane Clark, Dante Cunningham, and Frank Tchuisi.
On a night when a victory would assure the Wildcats the No. 4 seed in next week’s BIG EAST Tournament and a double bye into the conference quarterfinals, the core leadership group made certain that no one got too far ahead of himself.
Providence wasn’t able to pick up the marquee road win it needed to make a clear case for an NCAA Tournament bid, and now it will have to do some damage in New York. The Friars became the 28th consecutive visiting team to lose to Villanova at The Pavilion as the Wildcats won, 97-80, Thursday night.
PC may still earn an NCAA invitation, especially after consecutive wins against No. 1 Pittsburgh and Rutgers and a 10-8 league record that provided a one-day bye in the Big East Tournament. But the Friars couldn’t maintain their recent momentum against the Wildcats, who have now won 28 consecutive games at The Pavilion. Providence hasn’t defeated Villanova since Feb. 11, 2004.
Philly.com: Villanova wins, wraps up double bye
When the preseason predictions had Villanova finishing fifth in the Big East Conference, a few eyebrows were raised. Did the Wildcats have what it would take to lock horns with the powers in arguably the toughest league in America?
The final answer came tonight.
Scottie Reynolds scored 23 points and helped Villanova (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) finish perfect season at the Pavilion and earn a double-bye in the Big East tournament with a 97-80 victory over Providence on Thursday night.
I Bleed Blue and White: postGame: Villanova 97, Providence 80
Yes, they probably let the Friars have a few too many open looks from outside, but Providence got a lot done at the line (20-30) due to some generous calls from the officials. All in all, it was a great effort on defense, and it was especially good down the stretch when Villanova shut the door on the Friars and opened up a 21 point lead.
Villanova by the Numbers: Providence #02 Post Game — the Class of 2009
Senior Night was 2 weeks ago. The appointed victem was Rutgers, and the Wildcats almost apologetically allowed the Scarlet Knights to linger well into the 2nd half, before too gently putting the Knights out into that gentle night. Tonight the Wildcats, Class of 2009, said goodbye to their home in the Pavilion. And they did in their new style, rushing the Providence College Friars out the door in an ungentlemanly fashion
The Truth About PC Basketball: Weyimi can’t do it himself, guys
I get the feeling that no one other than Weyinmi and Curry had any real sense of what this game meant. They came out playing flat basketball. No one moved on offense, and the defense just stood around while Nova drove at will and got open three after open three.
The Sports Network: Villanova powers past Providence
Scottie Reynolds scored 23 points and Dante Cunningham joined Dwayne Anderson with 19 points, as No. 11 Villanova rolled past Providence, 97-80, keeping the Friars squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble.