The Providence Friars suffered their first lost of the season by falling to Iowa State 64-54 in South Padre Island.
Why Iowa State won: The Cyclones came into the game shooting extremely well, but they didn’t actually end up with a great overall percentage (39.2%, although they took 30 threes). They did seem to hit some timely shots behind the arc (mostly in spurts), but really prevailed because of owning the Friars on the glass. Big man Royce White was held in check offensively with only 6 points, but he grabbed 16 rebounds — 5 on the offensive glass.
Why the Friars lost: PC’s offense is just extremely limited right now. Vincent Council took scoring responsibility in the 1st half (17 of Providence’s 24 points), while Gerard Coleman got the honors in the 2nd (17 of team’s 30 points). Other than a small spurt where Bryce Cotton (who had his 2nd straight game on the wrong side of efficiency) got 6 points midway in the 2nd, not many points came from anyone else. When the offense isn’t fully clicking, the defense and rebounding needs to be stellar. While the team played hard on the defensive end, the long rebounds off missed threes was a big issue. Like Coach Simon said on the post game show, that type of thing falls on everyone, not just the front court players.
Turning point: Even though it felt like Iowa State had a decent lead for most of the 2nd half, the Friars seemed to get a little momentum with 8 minutes left in the game. Gerard Coleman got a steal, and Bryce Cotton hit a fast break layup to cut the deficit to 4. After he hit the foul shot (!), the Friars trailed by 3 but would never get any closer. Iowa State hit some foul shots and got lots of 2nd chances, Vincent Council missed a big front end of a one and one, and Chris Allen (who spend most of the time on the bench with 4 early fouls) hit a dagger three to put Iowa State up double digits late in the game.
Quotables: “Guards have to get their nose bloodied every now and then” - Assistant coach Simon on needing guards to pitch in on the rebounding front.
Coleman For Three: Gerard Coleman did not take any threes before tonight, but ended up 2-5. He seemed to get some confidence after hitting a few, but the last one may have been one he was apt to take last season.
Foul Shots Again: The Friars foul shooting problems continued with limited opportunities. The team went 5-11, including a nice airball from Brice Kofane.
Bilal Dixon, you there?: Bilal Dixon’s name comes up in the box score, but I can honestly say I never heard his named mentioned on the radio broadcast. With all the rebounding issues tonight it would have been nice if he made his presence known. Remember when he used to get double-doubles?
Taking care: For all the problems PC had tonight, they did a great job of taking care of the ball. Their 7 turnovers was the lowest so far this young season.