The Providence Friars moved to 11-2 on the season with their first ever win at the Ryan Center by defeating URI 80-61. Does that record and opponent sound familiar? It’s the exact point PC was at last season, sitting at 11-2 after beating the Rams at the Dunk. However, with the style of basketball this team is playing, it just feels different, right?
Why the Friars Won: Despite a first half that featured numerous missed foul shots, poor rebounding, and sloppy turnovers, the Friars held a 2-point halftime lead. In the 2nd half, Providence woke up and played with the pride that Coach Cooley vowed the team would play after intermission. PC took advantage of URI’s misses and turnovers and basically ran the team off the court. The three C’s excelled in the fast paced game, and Brice Kofane had a great performance on both ends of the court.
Why the Rams Lost: URI’s offense showed exactly why they were 1-10 heading into this game, despite getting a few transfers back. Bad threes, missed dunks, disjointed offense, you name it. Billy Baron had a night to forget in his debut, shooting 0-7 from the field. I thought the Barons were supposed to be shooters?
Turning Point: The Friars came out of the 2nd half a little sloppy, but still held on to a small lead. Five minutes into the half, Bryce Cotton drilled a three, the first for PC in the game. After URI missed on one of their MANY jumpers, Cotton once again got an open look after LaDontae Henton kicked it out after failing to make a layup and tip in. Cotton drilled the back to back three, and Providence suddenly had a 49-40 lead. What made that sequence even better? Ed Cooley waiving his arms pumping up the crowd after Jim Baron called a timeout. Nice home court advantage, bro.
Play of the Game: The Cotton threes were pretty sweet, but I would like to call out one of the many missed dunks by URI. Like @TTAPCBBall said, it was like in NBA Jam when the computer decided you couldn’t score anymore and basically shot the ball out of the rim into the sky.
Fun Stat of the Game: Brice Kofane, 8 points and 10 rebounds. Damn. Only ONE block though? What’s your deal, man!? It’s OK, after getting verbally abused by Cooley on the TV broadcast in the first half, he responded in a big way.
Fun Stat of the Game II: Everyone other than Bryce Cotton took TWO three point shot attempts. After the last few season, can you even fathom that?
In the crowd: Friar legend Ernie D, and future Friar Ricky Ledo.