Finally, after 11 years and 7 or 8 trips to Madison Square Garden, I got to see the Providence Friars win a game in the BIG EAST Tournament. I don’t care that it was against DePaul. It was a great win in my mind, and now PC is among the last 8 teams standing.
We sat in the highest section in the first row, which wasn’t too bad because it was right in the middle of the court. In the first half the Garden seemed quite empty, although fans from other teams began trickling in for the 2nd half. I don’t think there were any other Friar fans where we sat. At halftime, we investigated trying to move down, but it seemed like there was a ticket worker at every gate.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games, and a few times in the second half I got incredibly nervous. However, Curry and Efejuku would not let DePaul get another upset (no matter how many threes they hit).
Sharaud Curry was simply amazing, especially towards the end of the first half. Did he call that bank shot three-pointer? I would like to think he did.
All in all, it was a really fun day. Stout was surprisingly crowded at 11AM, and even more packed after the game around 3PM. I got to talk to a bunch of students for a little bit, and even ran into the Scout messageboard’s very own “WindyCityFriar” at halftime. It was also great just talking to random basketball fans while watching the St. John’s “game”. Everyone seemed to generally like the Providence Friars as a basketball program, and hoped we got the NCAA bid.
However, we have little time to enjoy the victory, as the Friars will face #1 seed Louisville in a few hours. I’ll be enjoying this one on TV.
The Providence College men’s basketball team (19-12) defeated DePaul University (9-24) in a BIG EAST Tournament second round game by a score of 83-74 on Wednesday, March 11 at Madison Square Garden. Sharaud Curry (Gainesville, Ga.) and Weyinmi Efejuku (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) combined for 48 points to lead the Friars. Curry posted 25, while Efejuku netted 23, including 15 points in the decisive second half.
Projo.com: Curry scores 25 as PC beats DePaul
Sharaud Curry scored 25 points and Providence held DePaul without a field goal for nearly 8 minutes to beat the surprising Blue Demons 83-74 in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday, enhancing its chances for an NCAA bid.
Projo.com: Efejuku lights up DePaul Again
“I was doing it in the first half, too, but I wasn’t quite as aggressive and I had a bunch of stupid turnovers,” he said. “Coach let me know about it at the halftime. In the second half, I tried to be more aggressive and get the ball to my teammates if they were open. If they play me one-on-one, go to score.”
Then the benefit of the bye kicked in. With Sharaud Curry (25 points), Weyinmi Efejuku (23) and Geoff McDermott (9 rebounds, 8 points, 4 steals) leading the way, the Friars dug in on defense and rallied. In the blink of an eye, the Friars had scored 15 of 16 points and taken control, 70-62. PC didn’t falter over the final three minutes and won, 83-74.
In the final moments of an 83-74 loss to Providence in the Big East tournament, Walker’s bombs might as well have been duds. The Blue Demons crashed into a mental and physical wall long before that — some would peg the timing around Jan. 1 — and any angst stemmed from a bout with the what-ifs.
Boston.com: PC rallies by DePaul, keeps hopes alive
March used to be fun for Providence College. But that was in the good old days when the likes of Johnny Egan, Ernie DiGregorio, Marvin Barnes, and Billy Donovan played for the Friars.
Lately? Not so much fun and a great deal of frustration, especially in the prelude to the big party of March, the Big East tournament. Going into yesterday’s second-round game against 16th seed DePaul, Providence’s last win in a Big East tournament game had been against West Virginia in 2003.
Newsday.com: Friars survive against DePaul, 83-74
The Friars needed a late run in the final minutes to score a 83-74 victory over the resurgent DePaul Blue Demons Wednesday in the second round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
The Truth About PC Basketball: DePaul Notes
Going to the Garden today was a pretty memorable experience. I’ve lived reasonably nearby all my life, but being a Nets/Devils fan, I’ve never had much of a reason to go there before. It’s not the nicest arena in the world, and could probably use a bit of a facelift, but hey, a lot of history has been made in that building, and this year’s edition of the Friars made their small mark today.
I Bleed Blue and White: Providence escapes
Even though the final score was 83-74, this game was a lot closer. DePaul led for much of the 2nd half and for a while it really seemed like they were going to pull off the upset.