The Providence Friars got their 2nd road win of the season by defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks 76-67 as part of the BIG EAST / SEC Challenge. South Carolina was not a very good team by any stretch, but road wins have always been tough for PC and any great overall performance considering the depth and front court issues should not be overlooked. The team played hard and together, and even the ESPNU broadcasters were not making jokes about the defense! Now that’s refreshing.
Your move now fellow BIG EAST members. The Friars just spotted you a 1-0 lead in this challenge. #BeatTheSEC!
Why Providence Won: The Friars did a good job contesting South Carolina’s many many three point attempts, and were just incredibly efficient offensively. The scoring was spread around, as 5 Friars scored in double figures (Henton 18, Council 16, Coleman 16, Cotton 15, Dixon 10).
Why South Carolina Lost: The Gamecocks could not shoot from deep, and they had no problem trying until the rims were broken. What did the rims do to you, G’cocks? Pick on someone your own size! South Carolina finished 6-30 (20%) from behind the arc. “Bricks, condos, and skyscrapers”, as Adrian Branch put it on the ESPNU postgame show. Offensive rebounding kept them in the game as much as they could, but they just couldn’t capitalize.
Turning point: The Friars outplayed South Carolina all night, but the offense started to get a little out of control during the brief time the Gamecocks actually didn’t look incredibly inept on offense. The PC lead was cut to as little as 4 with 9 minutes remaining. The lead didn’t really feel that much in jeopardy, but Bryce Cotton helped Providence get a comfortable one back in a flash with a four point play. Cotton had a somewhat quiet night offensively before that, but he hit a nice three ball while getting fouled and hit the freebie to give PC a 10 point lead with 6 minutes left.
Player of the Game: The Big Four did most of the scoring, but it would hard not to overlook the game that Bilal Dixon had. His 10-7-7 (last one being blocks) line was something he hasn’t shown since early last season and most of his freshman year.
Tweet of the Game:
Fun Stat I: Bilal Dixon had 7 blocks. He had 6 blocks all season before tonight.
Fun Stat II: The Friars shot 22-27 from the foul line. Everyone chipped in!
Fun Stat III: The Big Four (Three C’s plus Henton) played all but two minutes of the game. Council and Cotton each missed one minute.