The Providence Friars dropped yet another BIG EAST road game (20th straight, if you are counting at home) this time falling to the surprisingly good South Florida Bulls 81-78. The Bulls got hot from behind the arc (who doesn’t lately? — like I said on Twitter during the game, Shaq could nail 10 threes in a game against Providence) and their defense clamped down during a 16-1 run halfway through the 2nd that was the difference in the game.
From the AP:
Robertson had four points and Jawanza Poland connected on a go-ahead jumper during an 8-0 run to put South Florida up 55-53 midway through the second half.
After Henton converted three free throws to cut the Providence deficit to two, 80-78, South Florida’s Victor Rudd Jr. hit 1 of 2 from the line with 5 seconds left.
Wait AP reporter, that’s all you got? That incredibly sells short the ending there, as Providence made it a game despite trailing 8 points with only a minute and a half to go. South Florida showed some of their old South Florida-ness by fouling Bryce Cotton (16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) and LaDontae Henton (33 points, more on that in a minute) on three point attempts both with less than 30 seconds to go. Six freebie points later, the Bulls stood at the line with only a two point lead and 4 seconds to go. After Victor Rudd hit the first, his second clanged off the rim only to be grabbed by Toarlyn Fitzpatrick for the clutch offensive rebound. However, the Friars inexplicably didn’t even try to give another foul to force USF to win it at the line. Would Fitzpatrick have made one of those to ice the game? Probably, but tough to see it end that way with that kind of mistake.
This all occurred at the same time that LaDontae Henton broke Ryan Gomes’ single game scoring record for a Friar freshman, which stood at 31. Henton scored 24 of those in the first half alone, hitting shots from all over the court. In the second half, he practically didn’t touch the ball until there was about 7 minutes left in the game. PC’s defense was obviously a huge factor in the loss, but the offense was just as bad in that key stretch when USF went on that momentum changing 16-1 run. It would have been pretty sweet if Henton at least got a few looks. When the NBA Jam announcer guy is all “HE’S ON FIRE!!!!!”, it’s probably not a good idea to pretend he’s not even on the court. I mean, don’t you see he’s glowing?!
Anyways, this classic “I Can Has Cheezburger” pic sums up how I was feeling during the two halves.
Why do you gotta steal my Buckets, other Friars?
Let’s judge some performances by dishing out some bowls of pasta.
LaDontae Henton – I wish he pulled a Keyshawn Johnson and said “Just give me the damn ball!” I guess it’s kinda rude to do as a freshman.
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick – “Hey I’m playing the Friars, so I’m not going to miss a three, no matter how I am defended”. He also pulled down the game clinching offensive rebound on a missed free throw, making up for fouling Henton during a three with 9 seconds left.
Bryce Cotton – If they kept stats for getting fouled while talking three pointers, Cotton would definitely lead the nation. Sure he tries to oversell it about once a game, but hey it works.
Anthony Collins – I thought Gerard Coleman had a weird shooting form. Oh fun fact, this guy had ONE made three pointer coming into the SEASON. The clown of course hits TWO during the big run when he scored 8 straight points in two minutes.
Vincent Council – He had a nice open to the 2nd half, but forced things on too many occasions in key possessions down the stretch. Actually shocked that he ended up with 10 assists.
Gerard Coleman – It’s just a sophomore slump, it’s just a sophomore slump….
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