The Providence Friars improved to 6-1 on the year with an absolute 2nd half drubbing of Central Connecticut State (4-2) to a final score of 92-57 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Monday. Despite the many bright spots (Duke Mondy’s continued hot shooting, Gerard Coleman’s improving efficiency on the heels of his BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors, Dre Evans’ great minutes off the bench, Ron Giplaye’s Giplaye-ness, excellent foul shooting all around, and Ray Hall scoring 4 points and picking up 3 fouls in 5 minutes), Marshon Brooks unfortunately failed to outscore CCSU in the 2nd half. It was a close one though. With Brooks watching from the bench for most of the 2nd half, Central Connecticut squeaked by on a layup with just under four minutes to go to take a tense 18-17 lead. A nail-in-the-coffin putback layup by Terrell Allen two minutes later iced the half for the Blue Devils, and Marshon Brooks would simply not get a chance to fight back. Instead of inserting Brooks back into the game, Coach Keno Davis opted for the more crowd friendly approach and fielded several walk-ons at once in the final minutes. To each their own.
In all seriousness, it was definitely great to see Providence make adjustments after having an erratic first half on both ends of the court. The defense made numerous plays during the big run, and it helped open up the game on the other end of the court. Was Central Connecticut a great team? No, but they presented the Friars with a challenge after the first half, and the team responded with a blowout.
Image Courtesy of @RaySullivan via Twitter
Image Courtesy of @TheJFed via Twitter
Let’s get to the recap after the jump!
LETS TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ‘THE FOUR FACTORS’
- Providence had their 2nd best shooting night of the season, but you wouldn’t have guessed it after the first half. Central Connecticut used a 1-3-1 zone that the Friars had trouble with after their quick offensive start to the game. The team was able to adjust largely due to the fantastic outside shooting from Marshon Brooks and Duke Mondy, who combined for 7-10 on three point bombs. PC ended up with a blistering 71% eFG% in the 2nd half blowout. Central Connecticut kept it close in the first half by hitting 12-21 (57%) of their two point shots, but their eFG% suffered overall due to a 3-18 performance from three point land.
- After not having the best time rebounding out in Cancun, the Friars got back to their ways on the glass in getting almost half of their own misses (47.1%), and limiting the Blue Devils to a 35% offensive rebounding percentage that led to only 12 second chance points. Another game without a double-double though? What gives?! Despite another quiet performance for Bilal Dixon, he did lead the team with 8 total boards. However, his three offensive rebounds were topped by Marshon “I REBOUND NOW” Brooks and his 4 offensive grabs. Three CCSU players tied for the team lead with 2.
- The Friars took advantage of Central Connecticut’s sloppiness in the 2nd half to fuel their redonkulos run, turning 13 turnovers into 20 points in the final 20 minutes. Marshon Brooks led the way with 4 steals (he’s averaging almost 2 per game), and six other PC players had one steal. De’Angelo Speech was the biggest culprit for the Blue Devils with 4 turnovers, but three of his teammates coughed it up three times each. The Friars only turned it over 3 times in the whole 2nd half.
OTHER STAT NOTES
* 1st Half: 107.5
* 2nd Half: 159.8
Central Connecticut: 83.8
* 1st Half: 106
* 2nd Half: 59.2
- For the 2nd straight game, the Friars played to 68 possessions, their lowest total so far in the season.
- The 135.3 efficiency rating tops the Wyoming game by almost 12 points for highest of the season.
- After two straight games of the defense giving up 100+ in efficiency rating, the Friars kept it under 90 for the 5th time this season. Last season, the defense accomplished that six times all season.
- Even though it was the lowest point total the Friars let up in a half, Dartmouth had a lower offensive rating by a few points in the opening half of the season.
- Marshon Brooks used the highest number possessions in the game with 14, and he was incredibly efficient in doing so (141.9 offensive rating). Every other Friar scholarship player except Dixon and Ron Giplaye had higher than 100 efficiency rating.
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some pasta (from 1-4, 4 being awesome). My homage to the Star-Ledger.
Marshon Brooks – Almost edged out the Blue Devils single handedly in the 2nd half. Finally finding his stroke from behind the arc.
Duke Mondy – After starting the season a disastrous 3-19 from downtown over the first 5 games, Mondy is a sparkling 7-12 in the past two. Also had a career in points with 13.
Gerard Coleman – 7-11 from the field and 14 points hours after being named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week. ATTACKING THE RIM!
Ken “Don’t call me Tim” Horton – Strong first half kept the Blue Devils in the game. Like the rest of the team, didn’t produce much in the 2nd though.
Chris Baskerville – With 45 seconds left he botched an uncontested dunk. He most likely caught Ray Hall out of the corner of his eye and feared being devoured whole.
BOX SCORES FOR THE STATS NERDS!
AROUND THE INTERWEBS
Friars.com: Friars Outlast Central Connecticut, 92-57
Senior guard Marshon Brooks scored a game and season-high 26 points to lead the Providence College men’s basketball team (6-1) to a 92-57 victory over Central Connecticut (4-2) Monday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center.The Friars held the Blue Devils to just 20 points in the second half. The Blue Devils’ 20 second half points were the fewest PC has allowed this year over a 20-minute period.
Friar coach Keno Davis said the reason for the disparate halves was quite simple. His youthful squad hadn’t seen much of a 1-3-1 in practice and clearly was flustered by the Devils (4-2). A few adjustments later and his team had taken a valuable step forward.
Friar Baksetball: Friars Pull Away from Central Connecticut; Improve to 6-1
While the competition hasn’t been great, for the third time in their last four wins Providence pulled away in the final 10 minutes to come away with a victory. Perhaps no other game this season saw the massive momentum swings of the win over Central Connecticut State.
AOL Fanhouse (AP): Providence defeats Central Connecticut State 92-57
Providence starting forward Kadeem Batts, a redshirt freshman, left the game at 17:37 of the second half and did not return. Friars coach Keno Davis said after the game that Batts had “tweaked his ankle,” but the coach did not sound very concerned about any drop in the 6-foot-9 forward’s playing time.
“He’ll have a day to recover,” Davis said.
Senior Marshon Brooks led the Friars with a game-high 26 points. He was followed by the reigning Big East rookie of the week in freshman Gerard Coleman who finished with 14. Coleman’s athleticism helped him slash through the Blue Devils defense and get to the basket for many high percentage shots.
The Bristol Press: Providence cruises past Central Connecticut
CCSU had been competitive against Providence before, having beaten Providence in December of 1999 and falling by nine exactly four years to the day later. This one was no exception for more than a half. The Devils led by as many as nine late in the first half and the game was tied with 16:55 left in the second.
The final 16 minutes, however, were very much an exception.
THOUGHTS ELSEWHERE AROUND TWITTER
@PCDen Loudest the Dunk was all night was when walk ons put up shots. And Ray Hall baskets, but only to keep the giant from eating us all.
@jasonsullivan5 Did some stats for the Friars 2night. Young team but pretty athletic. Can’t afford to start slow once Big East hoops starts.
@patrick_lynch For the first time in years, PC is a 2nd half team. #pcbb
@CraigL79 Mondy definitely has the shot going the last couple of games #pcbb