Archives For Game Recaps

There comes a time when a fanbase can no longer keep accepting more victories year after year. Eventually, the team needs to produce wins out on the court. However, given the circumstances of PC’s 55-52 loss last night to Penn State in OT, it was hard not to be pleased with the effort and fight despite another tough loss to swallow in Puerto Rico.


Honey, are we at a football game?

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Friars Beat NJIT: Around the Web

dave@friarblog —  November 11th, 2012 8:02 AM —  Comments

Providence defeated NJIT 64-63 yesterday in the opening game of the season. Here are some links around the web.

link ESPN: Providence 64, NJIT 63 (AP)

Coach Ed Cooley said Council will have an MRI Sunday, and indicated that he is unlikely to play in the Friars’ upcoming matchup against Bryant on Monday.

The Friars are now down to just six academically eligible scholarship players, with Cooley describing his team as “the walking wounded.”

With Council out, Cotton was forced to take over as the floor general for Providence.

“I knew I had to work on my ball-handling,” Cotton said. “That was a major focus over the summertime.”

link Men’s Basketball Defeats NJIT In Season Opener, 64-63

Henton started the second half with a quick lay-up to bring his point total up to 20.  The Friars extended their lead to 10 points within six minutes of the start of the second half, their highest lead of the game.  NJIT chipped away at the Friars’ lead and took the lead with a three-point basket from Chris Flores with 4:13 left in the game, 63-62.  NJIT’s Flores finished the game tied his career high of 28 points. The Friars tied the game with a made free throw by Cotton with 2:19 remaining in the game.  Cotton again was sent to the free throw line with 5.1 seconds left in the game.  Cotton’s made free throw put the Friars up, 64-63.  NJIT’s PJ Miller took a deep three at the buzzer that missed to give the Friars the win.

link Providence Holds Off Highlanders in Opener

“I’m really happy with the effort of our guys today. We showed resiliency and heart,” said Highlanders Head Coach Jim Engles, who was selected as GWC Preseason Coach of the Year by College Sports Madness. “We also had great individual efforts by Chris [Flores] and Ryan [Woods] that put us in position to win the game.”

The dramatic finish overshadowed the performance of senior Chris Flores, who tied his own NJIT Division I record by scoring a game-high 28 points – the final three of which came on the 21-foot jumper that gave the Highlanders their first lead since holding a 27-25 edge in the first half. Flores previously tallied 28 points at Houston Baptist on Feb. 17, 2011, to tie the initial record set just five days earlier by Jheryl Wilson ’11 vs. South Dakota on Feb. 12, 2011.

link GoLocalProv: Friars survive season-opening scare

Thanks to a solid defensive effort led by Cotton, Henton, Brice Kofane, Lee Goldsbrough and Kadeem Batts, the Friars had plenty of chances to put the game away…and yet could not come up with a clinching score on the other end.   The final two points of the game were both scored by Cotton, from the free throw line in four attempts, to provide the winning margin.  But just barely.

As such, the Friars opened their season with a win for the 11th time in the past 12 years, but it might have come with a price tag attached.  Time will tell just how expensive that cost might be.

link Boston Sports Nut: Friars Open At Home Against NJIT

I spoke to Henton after the game, asking if he was ready to lead this team long term if Council’s injury forced him to miss an extended period of time.  Henton told me that while he was a vocal player, and every player needed to contribute in Council’s absence, Vincent was the leader of this team, whether from the bench or on the floor and would continue to be regardless of the status of his injury.

link Providence Journal: Friars to hold emergency tryout after Council injury

Because of the hamstring injury to star point guard Vincent Council injury, Cooley says he’s holding an emergency walk-on tryout for a walk-on on Sunday at Alumni Hall. He’s hoping someone on campus played high school basketball, can handle the ball a bit and wants to help the cause this season. Right now the Friars have just one eligible walk-on (Ted Bancroft) and they need more.

“I just hope there’s somebody out there who had that dream of one day being on the team. That’s the guy I need,” Cooley said.

link NBC College Basketball Talk: Council injured in narrow Providence victory

Honestly? Providence isn’t too scary even with Council, but a lingering hamstring injury suffered in the first game is the worst way for a senior year to get started, and it won’t help Ed Cooley’s Friars find a much-needed cohesive identity, either.

link Friar Basketball: Rapid Reaction: Minus Council, Friars Edge NJIT 64-63

LaDontae Henton was terrific in the first half, scoring 18 of Providence’s 32 points, as the Friars led 32-29 heading into the locker room.  Just how essential was Henton early?  He made seven of Providence’s 11 field goals in the first 20 minutes.

It wasn’t a perfect afternoon for the sophomore, who missed on seven of his eight three point attempts, but he was perfect from the free throw line, finished with a team-leading 24, and made perhaps the defensive play of the game when he blocked an 18 footer with the game tied at 63 with 1:05 on the clock.


Friars Beat Assumption 88-45

dave@friarblog —  October 28th, 2012 8:04 AM —  Comments

The Friars played their first exhibition game of the season yesterday in Alumni Hall, and trounced Division II Assumption 88-45. Here are some highlights, pics, and articles of all the action.

picture Bryce Cotton Pic

For the second year in a row, Ice Cotton did his Ice Cotton things to lead the charge against Assumption. He scored 23 points and was 4-5 from downtown.


Photo by Kevin Reilly

link Men’s Basketball Defeats Assumption, 88-45, In Exhibition Action

Full Box Score here.

The Friars started the first half with a 17-2 run that forced Assumption to take a timeout within the first four minutes. By halftime, Providence had three players in double-figures, and the team shot 73.1 percent on the floor and 80 percent from three-point range. The Friars led 51-24 as they headed to the lockeroom at halftime. The Friars continued to pressure the Greyhounds in the second half and outscored Assumption 37-21 in the final 20 minutes of action.

Junior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) led the Friars in scoring with 23 points and was 4-5 from behind the arc. Senior Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.), sophomore LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) and junior Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.) each recorded double-doubles. Council registered 11 points and added 12 assists, Henton had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Batts registered 18 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Josh Fortune (Hampton, Va.) also scored in double-figures with 12 points.

youtube @rjsuperfly Video: Player Intros

What do I have to do to get “Ice Cotton” announced on the PA?

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Actual photo of Warrior Friar at 12:30 PM, Mal Brown game.

You know how that old rhyme goes. First comes fall, then comes madness, then comes a scrimmage before the season happens.

…Well it goes something like that anyway. No matter; this past Saturday was our first preview of the 2012-2013 men’s basketball squad. Featuring a renovated alumni gym, a slew of new players, and – finally – some basketball!

This being the only time some of the players would get to play in front of the public this season, there was definitely some curiosity for how the performance would be. What would Ledo look like? How are Harris and Carson D? Will Vincent Council live up to expectations? While it’s only an exhibition, I left the campus with some good impressions of this years squad – both playing and non-playing alike. Here’s my Five Factors from the Mal Brown scrimmage:

Continue Reading… Men’s Basketball Defeated At No. 20 Notre Dame, 75-69

The Providence College men’s basketball team gave No.20 Notre Dame all it could handle for 30 minutes of action Friday night, but the Irish were too much for the Friars in the second half, as Notre Dame pulled away to earn a 75-69 victory inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.

Providence (15-16, 4-14 BIG EAST) trailed by just three (31-28) at the break, but Notre Dame (21-10, 13-5 BIG EAST) used runs of 11-2 and 15-0 in the second half to build a double-digit lead the Friars could not overcome, despite a furious comeback in the game’s final minutes.

Junior guard Vincent Council paced the Friars with his ninth double-double of the season, posting 17 points and a game-high 10 assists in 40 minutes of action. Council – who entered the game leading the BIG EAST with 7.4 assists per contest – recorded his eighth game with 10 or more helpers on the year. Sophomore guard Gerard Coleman added 17 points, including 11 in the second half, while freshman forward LaDontae Henton notched his 10th double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

YouTube: Highlights Boxscore

GoLocalProv: Friars fall short, Irish fight back to win 75-69

Despite some cold outside shooting during the first half, PC managed to stay in the game on the road with 20th ranked Notre Dame – trailing by only three at halftime.

Then, the trap door opened. And the Friars fell through it.

Paced by 6-9 junior center Jack Cooley’s dominating first half performance, the Fighting Irish fought through their own shooting woes and caught fire against the Friar defense to open the second half, and held off a late run to win 75-69 at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, IN.

Washington Post: Jack Cooley scores 27 to lead No. 20 Notre Dame past Providence, 75-69

Cooley scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the first half, hitting 7 of 10 shots. He finished 10 for 15 from the field.

“He made a couple of shots and he’s a physically imposing post player. But I thought we played great position defense,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “There were a lot of ticky-tack things around the basket, but that’s how they saw it and how they called it.”

Chicago Tribune: Notre Dame clinches Big East double bye

Double bye in hand, Irish coach Mike Brey redirected his team’s attention to what they planned to do with it.

“I said in there, last year’s group only got to Friday,” Brey said. “We couldn’t get to Saturday. I really want that for our program and feel that’s another building block. Now it’s going to be hard to do. But when you get the double bye, you’re in better position to do it.” Notre Dame men’s basketball: Cooley, Irish deliver in season finale

A combination of Brey substituting a bit too freely too early and the Irish losing a little of their edge so quickly managed to make it interesting. Down big, Providence scored 12 unanswered points in 1:59 to get within 13 and create a little drama. After leaving to an ovation on Senior Night with 2:27 remaining, Martin had to hustle back in for the final minute to help solve the Providence pressure.

The Friars got within six in the final 55 seconds.

“It,” Brey said, “kind of got a little weird.”

Vincent Council led the Friars (15-16, 4-14) with 17 points.

“To try and come back from a very large deficit is always hard on the road,” said coach Ed Cooley. “I am very proud of the resiliency of our guys.”

Friar Basketball: Providence Interior Exposed in South Bend

Yes, having a Jack Cooley would have made the Friars significantly better in 2011-12, but it also served as a reminder of how important it will be for Providence’s Cooley to either find or develop a few big men capable of defending the paint and clearing the glass next season.

The additions of Kris Dunn, Ricardo Ledo and Josh Fortune are only going to make the Friars that much more explosive in the 1-3 positons next season. The difference between being an explosive offensive team and a contender for an NCAA Tournament bid will be in how the power forward and center spots comes together over the next six months.

The Providence Friars beat the Connecticut Huskies 72-70, closing out their season at the Dunk with a great comeback win over their biggest rival. Winning games in late February? IS THIS REAL LIFE? Thank you, Ed Cooley.

ESPN: Providence 72, UConn 70

Connecticut (17-12, 7-10 Big East) started the second half with an 11-1 run and eventually gained a 14-point lead.Cotton’s four 3-pointers led a Providence (15-15, 4-13) charge, giving the Friars a 63-55 advantage.The Huskies scored the next six points, but Friars freshman LaDontae Henton stopped their charge with two 3-pointers to create a 69-61 lead with 1 minute to go

Why the Friars Won: Despite getting repeatedly alley-ooped on by Andre Drummond in the first half and missing pretty much from everywhere, Providence kept it close on a late run over the last minute to take only a two point deficit into halftime. This was huge, because UConn came out swinging in the 2nd half to build that 14 point lead. In the 2nd half comeback, the Friars got hot shooting from Ice Cotton, the defense picked up some key steals, and the team showed toughness with great offensive rebounding. This was all done without the player having the best game (LaDontae Henton) out on the court, who had to sit big minutes with foul trouble. With the Huskies climbing back in the final few minutes, Buckets came off the bench and drilled two huge threes to give PC the cushion they would need.

"I can shoot a three like this, and it would go in. True story"

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Around the Web: Providence Beats DePaul

dave@friarblog —  February 26th, 2012 1:38 PM —  Comments Providence College Men’s Basketball Earns Road Win Over DePaul, 73-71

The Providence College men’s basketball team (14-15, 3-13 BIG EAST) defeated the DePaul Blue Demons (11-17, 2-14 BIG EAST) by the score of 73-71, in Chicago, Ill. on Saturday, February 25. The game marks the first BIG EAST road victory for the Friars since the last time they played at DePaul and defeated the Blue Demons, 79-62, on January 14, 2010.

Freshman forward LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) and junior guard Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each earned their eighth double-double in the game as Henton scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Council added 14 points and dished out 11 assists. Sophomore Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) registered 19 points in the victory. Boxscore

FriarTV: Highlights

GoLocalProv: Friars find their way, dispatch Blue Demons

With some travel difficulties getting to Chicago due to snow on Thursday and Friday, the Friars’ trip to the Midwest was delayed by more than two hours Friday afternoon. After landing – and missing their appointed practice time halfway across town on the DePaul campus, with rush hour traffic in full swing – Ed Cooley took a different tact. He called off practice, and took the team bowling. “We just felt like it was something we needed to do, since practicing really wasn’t going to help us all that much with the travel trouble,” the coach said. “I thought, we needed to lighten things up. And we have some really bad bowlers! But we had fun. And I thought it helped us come together.” For the record, sophomore Ted Bancroft was the top bowler, while freshman Brice Kofane (from Yaounde, Cameroon) had never picked up a bowling ball in his life.

Chicago Sun-Times: More heartbreak for Demons

‘‘It’s a tough one to take,’’ DePaul coach Oliver Purnell said. ‘‘Our guys did a really good job of battling back [to a 71-71 tie with 33.5 seconds left on Jamee Crockett’s two free throws]. We have one defensive stop to make to go into overtime, and it didn’t happen.’’

The outcome means the Blue Demons likely will remain the No. 16 seed for the Big East tournament, which begins March 6 in New York.

Friar Basketball: Playing like a Veteran, Henton Leads PC Past DePaul

The numbers and game winner will most likely be remembered in years to come, but what shouldn’t be forgotten is the sheer will of a freshman who made all of the key plays to help end a long road losing streak and reverse the trend of February’s past.

While he’s not playing like it, Henton is still only a freshman, yet he’s providing the on-court leadership and tenacity that Providence fans hope are part of brighter days ahead under Cooley – virtues that had been lacking during past February skids.

Times Union: Providence edges DePaul 73-71

“I set a ball screen, pick and pop, and they trapped our point guard. It’s a shot I take every day in practice. I was wide open. If I didn’t make I would’ve been mad at myself. There wasn’t too much pressure because I was wide open. I just took my time and made it,” Henton said.

The DePaulia: Late rally not enough for men’s basketball in loss to Providence

“We got away from our defensive mindset. We knew that (Ladonte) Henton, he’s left-handed and we knew we had to force him to the right but we have to stay focused and make sure we know the player’s strength,” said Kirk. “You’ve got to stay mentally strong and stick to your defensive game plan.”

“Trying to win the game you know trying to get a win out though so we can get motivated and win more games, but you know we can’t wait to do that until the last minute to do that we have to do that when the ball tips up,” Young said.

“It hurts but we’ll be back tomorrow,” said Purnell. “We’ll try and try again until we get it right.”

Tweet of the Game

Lofty celebration prize for just a 3rd BE win but that's how I support Ed Cooley's #pcbb. Go #Friars.
Dean Harrington

Buckets Himself

Other Fan Reactions

Ed Cooley, all his assistants & his players deserved that win. Nobody should suffer as many ridiculous, close losses as they have. #pcbb
Richard Slate
I want to cry. I just witnessed a Friars Big East Road Win! Thank you BUCKETS!!! #pcbb
FRIARS WIN! First Big East road win since I was a freshman! #pcbb
Christine Rousselle

Ed Cooley got a T late in the game. How did the ref not shit his pants afterwards? Men’s Basketball Falls To South Florida, 55-48

Only one Friar scored in double digits as junior guard Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had 16 points in the game. The Bulls held Providence’s second leading scorer, sophomore Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.), to six points. Overall the Friars shot 30.8 percent from the field, 8.3 percent from behind the arc and 78.9 percent from the free throw line.

GoLocalProv: Disaster strikes again, Friars bulldozed 55-48

How much misfortune can a team be forced to endure, without having the basketball gods send at least one positive result their way?

Plenty – if you’re the 2012 Providence Friars.  For the third straight game, PC found itself with a late second half lead…and for the third straight game, the opponent found a way to win.  This time, the culprits came from South Florida, as the Bulls outscored the Friars 14-2 over the final 2:30 to win 55-48 at the Dunkin Donuts Center Saturday.

Woonsocket Call: Basketball gods not kind to PC again

With Vincent Council checking him, Noriega swished home a trey from the corner opposite the Bulls bench, one that made it a one-point white-knuckle affair at 2:20. An offensive foul by Kadeem Batts took away a hoop by Council and gave the Bulls another crack at running something with the intent of freeing Noriega.
Running off of what the USF hero-of-the-game dubbed “a triple screen,” Noriega banged home a three with 1:40 remaining, putting the visitors up at 48-47. Two attempts, two makes in exactly 60 seconds of floor time. Certainly it’s not bad work if you can get it, but as Noriega noted afterwards, he knows why Heath deploys him in certain situations as opposed to others.

Friar Basketball: Late Surge Pushes USF to Victory

Providence struggled through their ugliest offensive night since a 40 point performance against Georgetown in early January, and the closing minutes were not much better. Their only field goal of the final four minutes came when LaDontae Henton squeezed home a shot at the rim with 1:19 left, but USF closed by doing what PC could not six days prior against West Virginia – hitting all eight of their free throw attempts in the game’s final minute as they ripped off a 14-2 run over the game’s final two and half minutes for the victory.

It was a sluggish effort from the start for Cooley’s group, a team that must be discouraged after conceding leads of 15 and 19 points in their two losses prior to this one. Shaun Noriega gets a BIG celebration postgame in the locker room

Tampa Bay Times: USF Bulls rally to beat Providence Friars for second time, 55-48

The Bulls, who led 24-21 at halftime, also did a better job with their man-to-man defense against Providence than has been the case in the past. They held the Friars to 30 percent shooting and limited freshman forward Henton to seven points after he scored a career-high 33 on Jan. 29 in USF’s 81-78 win.

“We knew we had to take away their transition,” Heath said. “We did a much better job in the second half. I think it took some of their guys who can really score and didn’t allow them to get in a rhythm that they’ve gotten into before.

“I don’t know how those guys feel, but I’m exhausted,” he added, with a laugh. “The guys did a fantastic job, and there are a lot of heroes in that locker room.”

Tampa Bay Online: Noriega makes most of his shot(s)

“I definitely knew my time was going to come,” Noriega said. “We needed some shots at the end, and my coaches and teammates have faith in me.”

Noriega hadn’t played in four of USF’s previous six games, and the 12 total minutes he earned on Jan. 24 against Marquette and Feb. 4 against Georgetown came in contests that the Bulls lost by a combined 50 points. The junior guard had gone from starter to afterthought before sealing a season sweep of the Friars, a stint that Heath had in mind when he addressed the team a day earlier.

“You never know when your turn is going to come,” Heath said. “He perked up and had a pretty good practice (Friday).”

I guess Keno Davis saw his shadow earlier this month, meaning 6 more weeks of heartbreaking Friar basketball with poor defense. After last night, I feel like punching Ned Ryerson square in the face after seeing Providence blow another strong lead only to lose in the final minute. Against Villanova on the road, victory seemed a little more assuring with a 60-41 lead with around 14 minutes to play. In building that huge cushion, everything the Friars were putting up was going in. Ice Cotton looked unstoppable, hitting 6 of 7 three pointers in the first half. The pace in which they were drilling threes was obviously unsustainable, so the interior defense was going to be a huge factor when the shots stopped falling. And boy, did the shots stop falling. Is fatigue a factor? You bet. The Friars missed 14 straight field goals allowing Villanova to claw back. JayVaughn Pinkston abused PC’s interior defense, and carried the Wildcats on his back for the insane comeback victory.

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The Providence Friars were able to get their 2nd BIG EAST win of the season by defeating Rutgers at the Dunk 78-67.

Bilal Dixon scored a season-high 18 points, and Vincent Council had 11 points and 14 assists to lead Providence to a 78-67 victory over Rutgers on Wednesday night.Rutgers (12-11, 4-6) whittled the deficit to 64-60 with 2:38 remaining after switching to a full-court press midway through the second half, but the Scarlet Knights didn’t get any closer the rest of the way.Cotton hit two 3-pointers in 20 seconds, both on assists from Council, to give the Friars (13-10, 2-8) a 70-60 lead with 1:51 remaining. Cotton finished with 17 points.

Wait a minute, Bilal Dixon 18 points? Yeah that’s right. Dixon played perhaps his best game ever in a Friars uniform, really giving the team a presence in the paint on both ends of the floor. “A man amongst boys” according to Rutgers head coach Mike Rice.

I dig the high socks - (Photo by PC Athletics)

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