The Providence Friars improved to 5-2 by defeating Holy Cross 82-77 at the Dunk. It was ugly at times and probably closer than what was expected, but still good nonetheless to get a victory after what transpired in South Padre Island. The offense showed vast improvement, and the Friars withstood the run by Holy Cross to take home the victory.
Why the Friars won: It looked like PC was on their way to a blowout — their offense was clicking in half court and in transition (especially the Three C’s), Holy Cross was settling for threes and missing lots of shots, and the Friars had a 66-51 lead with 11 minutes to go in the game. However, the Crusaders went on a 21-5 run to finally take the lead with only two minutes left. Providence was able to make offensive plays down the stretch, get one final stop on defense, and also had some clutch free throws to help ice the game.
Why Holy Cross came back: The Crusaders had a great comeback, fueled by finally making some threes, scoring easily inside, clamping down on half court defense, and beating the Friars down the court in transition. On about two occasions, it looked like the Keno-era Friars giving up easy baskets because they were out-hustled coming back. It brought back some horrible memories of the last two years.
Turning Point: With the Friars trailing by 2 points with under a minute left, Gerard Coleman drove through the lane but missed a layup off the glass. LaDontae Henton grabbed the rebound, and was able to put it back up and in to once again tie the game. As Holy Cross went back up the court, Gerard Coleman came up with a great steal and got the ball to Henton once again for a nice layup while getting fouled. The freshman iced the three point play, and PC was back in command.
Player of the Game: LaDontae Henton. Even though the Three C’s put up some great stats (Bryce Cotton 24 points, Gerard Coleman 18 points, 8 rebounds) freshman Henton had clutch BUCKETS down the stretch.
Assists!: The Friars picked up 21 assists on their 34 made baskets, which is ONE less assist than they’ve had total over the last three games. Vincent Council had 11 as part of his double-double (19 points, 7 rebounds).
Fun Stat I: The Friars first 10 points of the game was scored by 5 different players. Woh. Only three players scoring in the whole HALF have been the norm lately.
Fun Stat II: Brice Kofane was a beast on the boards with a career high 12 rebounds. However, he also led the game in LBOHAR (Losing the ball off hands after rebound) with about 3. Somebody get that guy some stickum. Throw some elbows! Ask Marvin Barnes for some help.
Fun Stat III: Holy Cross had 13 offensive rebounds, but only converted those into two measly points.