With a 99-85 loss to #4 Syracuse last night, the Providence Friars drop their 7th game in a row, and their 4th in a row to a team ranked in the TOP EIGHT. It’s been a brutal stretch, with some brutal stretches of bad play leading to these losses. This time, it was a poor 2nd half against Syracuse after quite the offensive performance in the first. Even though PC lost and looked quite over matched in last 20 minutes, boy was that first half entertaining. It was raining threes by EVERYONE (including BMac!), there were alleyoops from Curry to Greedy, and even RAY HALL was dropping some points. Providence took a surprising 5 point lead (52-47) into the half.
What should the Friars have done? They should have pulled a George Costanza and left on a high note! “Alright that’s it for me – Good night everybody!”
Bottom line: Syracuse is freakin’ good and have only lost TWO games all year — we will know more about the state of our program after the final three games (with two of then winnable IMO) and their performance in the BIG EAST Tournament.
(AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Liftoff after the jump!
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
- Both teams obviously put up great overall eFG% numbers (thanks to 14 Providence threes, and Andy Rautins), but when Syracuse tightened up their zone to start the 2nd half, the Friars looked like Boeheim invented a new defense at halftime. Passing lazily around the perimeter and getting poor shots led to several turnovers, and more easy transition baskets by the Orange.
- Syracuse really dominated on the offensive glass, leading to a big 21-10 advantage in 2nd chance points. The Orange rebounded almost half of their own shots, with Rick Jackson (6) and Arinze Onuaku (5) combining for 11 of the 17 offensive rebounds. It was not one of the Friars’ better nights rebounding, as nobody had more than 2.
- Turnovers killed PC in the 2nd, as they coughed up the ball 10 times, leading to 18 Syracuse points. Greedy Peterson had 4, Marshon Brooks 3, and three others had 2 (VC, Hall, Mondy).
- Ah, back to the ways of not getting to the foul line. I know its hard when you jack up 33 threes, but THREE Friars getting to the line again?
OTHER STAT NOTES
- Providence has only put up a higher offensive rating in 3 other BIG EAST games – USF (128), Rutgers (123.7), and Marquette (Home game, 123.4). Rutgers was the only win.
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.
Andy Rautins – Hey buddy, how about MISSING A FREAKING BIG THREE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. GET EFFED!
Rick Jackson – Congratulations Rick! You were the winner of the “Opposing Player Career High in Scoring” contest! Julian Vaughn of Georgetown will do the honors of presenting you with the coveted black and white winner’s jacket at a ceremony over the weekend.
Marshon Brooks – Like the rest of the team, had more success behind the arc in the first half, but also hit 7 of his 10 2-point shot to go along with 3 steals. We need Marshon to keep stepping up.
Vincent Council – His numbers were around his season average, but you have to give him credit for playing like that with a bum hand. He’s a gamer.
Brian McKenzie – Ah BMac, you make a few threes in the first half, and feel like you can just keep chucking them up in the 2nd.
Bilal Dixon – Just overmatched against Syracuse’s bigs
Brandon Triche – BIG EAST All-Rookie, but not ahead of our VC.
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
AROUND THE WEB
The Providence College men’s basketball team (12-15, 4-11 BIG EAST) was defeated by No. 4/4 Syracuse University (26-2, 13-2 BIG EAST) by a score of 99-85 on Saturday, Feb. 23 before a sell-out crowd of 12,410 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. After the Friars led by eight at 55-47, PC could not overcome the subsequent 26-2 run by Syracuse that helped the Orange claim the 99-85 victory.
SUAthletics.com: Jackson, Rautins Lead #4 Orange at Providence
With the win, the Orange clinched one of the top four seeds in the BIG EAST Championship, earning the double bye to the quarterfinals.
Junior Rick Jackson led SU with a career-high 28 points, while senior Andy Rautins also had 28 points, a season-best mark. Jackson was 13-of-17 from the floor and a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe and added nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots in his career effort.
Projo.com: Orange crush PC’s upset hopes, 99-85
The Friars were raining in 3-pointers from every corner of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, lighting up the scoreboard for 52 first-half points. The sellout crowd (12,410) was rocking, while the seemingly thousands of fans of the No. 4 ranked Syracuse Orange watched in stunned disbelief.
Then the second half began. Looking like every bit the national championship contender, Syracuse wiped out a five-point halftime deficit and tore away from the Friars for a 99-85 win. The Orange ripped through PC’s defense for 61-percent shooting in the half and ended the game hurting the Friars both inside (56 points in the paint) and out (10 threes, eight by Andy Rautins).
Pawtucket Times: Syracuse Blows by Providence
The game was a familiar one for Providence and its fans. After staying close for a prolonged stretch, the Friars were virtually powerless to stop the Orange from imposing their will at the game’s most critical juncture. PC managed to score only eight points in the opening 10 minutes, though recovered enough to move within 11 points on a couple of occasions.
Syracuse.com: Syracuse University basketball blasts Providence
On a night when Syracuse scored 99 points, the Orange won with defense. Nine minutes worth of defense.
Syracuse.com: Syracuse big men dominate Providence on the inside
“They’re playing a match-up zone and they’re undersized,” senior center Arinze Onuaku said. “And they got young guys in there. So any time I caught the ball, I felt like I could score.”
An Andy Rautins miss from 3-point range is a recent rarity.
The Syracuse guard went 8 of 12 from outside the arc in the Orange men’s 99-85 win over Providence. He scored 28 points. In SU’s last three games, Rautins is shooting 16 of 28 from long distance.
The Axe Man: SU-Providence Recap
Syracuse opened the second half by extending the zone defense, and we are talking Gumby-like stretching here, and went on a 26-2 run to open the half and watch the Friars wilt under the defense that was taking a coffee break at the Dunkin Donuts Center in the first half.
Providence turned the ball over more in the first three minutes of the second half than they had the entire first half, decided defense was optional, and watched yet another Top 8 team steamroll them.
Jackson battered Providence to the tune of 28 points on 13-of-17 shooting, including a team-high nine rebounds in Syracuse’s 99-85 win over the Friars Tuesday night. Jackson’s explosive performance was just the second time in his career he’s hit the 20-point plateau, previously having accomplished the feat against Florida on Dec. 10.
“They weren’t double-teaming or anything like that, I just got the ball and really just finished,” Jackson said. “I felt they just kept leaving me open in one-on-one opportunities and I had good position on a lot of the shots I took and it turned out good.”
ESPN.com: Rautins key to Syracuse’s success
Davis said Rautins is a game changer and someone who you can see has improved so much over his career. Rautins isn’t someone who improved his game in just two hours of practice a day, his coach said. Clearly, he has put in the extra work. But what is clear as well is that Rautins isn’t just a shooter, even though that was his staring role Tuesday night. Rautins was bringing up the ball on a number of occasions to jump start the offense. He dished out four assists, had just two turnovers and one steal in playing all 40 minutes.
A little extension of the 2-3 zone, and a little more intensity, and we started to see the Syracuse team we had expected to see. They were running up and down the floor. They were grabbing rebounds (37, including 17 from the offensive glass). They were stealing the ball (12) and blocking shots (5). They were playing Syracuse Basketball