The Providence Friars absolutely destroyed the ranked Louisville Cardinals 90-59 on national television to give Ed Cooley his first BIG EAST win as head coach of PC. The game was pretty even for the first seven minutes, with the Friars then holding a small lead over the next 7. With about 6 minutes left, the wheels started to come for the Cardinals and PC pretty much ran them off the court for the rest of the game.
After the first four BIG EAST games this season, it feels great to finally be in the win column in conference play (what up Pitt!). Ed Cooley and the players certainly deserved this, and the fact that the blowout came against Rick Pitino makes it all the better. Honoring the 1987 Final Four team was great and a huge part of Friar history, but this is Ed Cooley’s team now.
Why the Friars Won: Without Gerard Coleman in the lineup (out with a back injury), the Friars were going need everyone else to step up. And they did. Big time. Kadeem Batts had a career game, scoring 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Bryce Cotton simply could not miss, also throwing down 27 points by going a perfect 5-5 from behind the arc. Vincent Council had an absolute monster game with 15 points, 14 assists, and 8 rebounds. He pretty much did whatever he wanted to do out there, and Louisville had no intentions of stopping him.
Why Louisville Lost: While they ran into a team that could do no wrong, it was curious to why Rick Pitino continually sat in the zone and let shot after shot fall in for Providence. Things were quite the opposite when the Cards had the ball, as they couldn’t hit threes, dunks, foul shots, you name it. Peyton Siva also mailed it in, seemingly fouling out early in the 2nd half on purpose just so he didn’t have to deal with the debacle on the court. It was just that kind of night for Pitino and Louisville.
Turning Point:: With 8:25 left in the game, PC led 20-17. Then, Vincent Council decided “Hey, let’s make this a blowout”. Three pointer, layup, three pointer, layup. BOOM. ROASTED.
Player of the Game: Bryce Cotton (with Batts a close second). 5-5 from downtown, and 10-12 from the foul line. Seemed like his points came at a time that just broke the back of Louisville.
Play of the Game: Kadeem Batts had a fantastic fast break dunk early on in the 2nd half while Louisville was sleeping. You can watch a bootleg version here until it makes the SportsCenter Top 10 plays tonight.
Tweet of the Game:
Despite this awkward form and the fact he was on the other end of the court, this Bryce Cotton shot probably went in.