The Providence Friars had a nice win on Friday night at the Dunk, beating Ed Cooley’s former team Fairfield 66-47. It was their 22nd straight home non-conference win in a row.
Why Providence Won: The first half was ugly for both teams, but the Friars took an 8 point lead into the locker room because of their offensive rebounding. PC had a 10-1 advantage on the offensive glass, and scored 10 second chance points. Right from the start of the 2nd half, Providence found their offense while Fairfield struggled to score. Fairfield got the first bucket of the half 20 seconds in, but took almost 8 minutes to sore their next points. During that cold spell the shots started to fall for the Friars, especially for Bryce Cotton. The Stags did a good job harassing Ice at the point for most of the game, but he managed to find room to hit a couple of threes and a layup during PC’s 17-0 run that broke the game open.
Why Fairfield Lost: Nobody other than Derek Needham contributed anything offensively for the Stags. Needham kept the team in the game early, and was the only player able to actually hit a three pointer. He finished with 18 points on 7-16 shooting. Everyone else? Nobody scored in double figures, and they shot 12-38 (31%), including 0-9 from downtown. Overall the team played decent defense, but they simply couldn’t take advantage of numerous PC turnovers.
Play of the Game: Bryce Cotton had an amazing reverse layup at the halftime buzzer after catching (in midair) a Josh Fortune three point airball.
Finally, A Breather: Cotton hit the bench for the first time this season. Late in the 2nd half he seemed to either re-injure his ankle or hurt his leg somehow. He was able to return, and still ended up playing 38 minutes. Cotton finished with 21 points, and he has now scored at least 21 in all 5 of his games.
Career Highs for Lee: While he still hasn’t managed to crack double digit points in his time at PC, Lee Goldsbrough scored a career high 9 points on 3-4 shooting. However, overcoming his shyness appears to have created another less desirable career high in five turnovers. Last year he had 6 for the whole season!
Foul Trouble For Batts: Kadeem Batts only played 23 minutes due to foul trouble and finished with under 10 points for the first time all season. Offensively he had it going early inside, but was forced to sit with two fouls with 7 minutes remaining in the first half. Batts picked up a 3rd on an offensive foul early in the 2nd, and only scored 3 of his 9 points in limited time during the 2nd frame. Also not pretty was his ill-advised three point attempt in the first. Ed Cooley was not pleased.
Kofane’d: Back to back. Belly to belly. Brice Kofane had only two blocks, but they occurred on consecutive trips down the court for Fairfield. Matthews and Nickerson were the victims.
Missing Council: It’s clear that LaDontae Henton is missing Vincent Council, often trying to do a little too much at times offensively. He got off to a poor start tonight and just couldn’t get his three pointer to fall. However, Buckets finished strong and ended with 15 points and 8 rebounds. It’s possible Josh Fortune might miss Council more though, as the increased workload and minutes for the freshman is leading to big turnover numbers. He has at least 5 turnovers over the last 4 games, with one of them being the game that Cotton missed.
It’s Almost Dunn Time: Ed Cooley said in his post game presser that Kris Dunn was a couple of weeks away from returning. I wonder if they are eyeing the December 6th contest against URI? That would be an interesting way to kick off his PC career.