Check out Bryce Cotton’s awesome half time buzzer beater layup against Fairfield last night. It came in at number 10 on SportsCenter’s Top Plays last night. Thanks to everyone who Tweeted at ESPN to help promote it!
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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.
PC defeated Fairfield 66-47 to move to 4-2 on the season. Ed Cooley spoke with the media following the game, and was joined by Josh Fortune and Lee Goldsbrough.
You can listen to the full press conference below.
Before facing his former team last season, Ed Cooley mentioned something (and I don’t remember the exact quote and can’t find anything online) about wanting to rip out Fairfield’s throats once they got onto the court — And this was about a team whom he personally recruited most of it’s players! Heading into tonight’s game, the team Cooley left last year for PC has five new faces. In other words, Big Ed has even less feelings for this current Fairfield squad — oh yeah he’s a cuddly bear!! In addition to ripping throats, Cooley will probably add spinning them around, shoving said throats up their rear, and kicking them into a deadly pit Spartan-style. “Oh, I’ve chosen my words carefully, Stag. Perhaps you should have done the same! THIS IS FRIARTOWN!”
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 7:00 PM
Opponent: Fairfield (3-2)
Location: The Dunk
Spread: Providence -4.5
Ken Pom: Providence: #89, Fairfield: #137
TeamRankings.com Projection: Fairfield 65.9, Providence 68.6
Check out this video of Vin Parise and Dave Jageler discussing PC’s road victory earlier in the week.
The Friars (2-0) got a great road win tonight (and first one in almost TWO years!), defeating Fairfield in Ed Cooley’s return to Connecticut. The game was pretty action packed, as both teams continually traded double-digit runs. In the end, the Providence guards were too much to handle in transition and PC ended up winning 80-72.
How they won: Vincent Council (26 points, 7 assists), Gerard Coleman (17 points), and Bryce Cotton (career high 24 points) combined to score 67 of the Friars 80 points (!!). They were all just fantastic in transition, and in the half court sets Vincent “The General” Council took charge and made plays. The Friars were also able to make some runs with Fairfield’s big players having to sit with foul trouble. Rakim Sanders got 2 early, and also picked up his third in the beginning of the 2nd half. When Sanders was in the game, he kept helping Fairfield make their comebacks as PC had no answer for him on defense. He finished with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Point guard Derek Needham had a rough night shooting (3-11, all threes), and also got into foul trouble throughout the game. The Stags took a lot of three-pointers (26), but finished at 30% thanks to a barrage of threes at the end.
Turning point: Rakim Sanders and Derek Needham hit threes on consecutive trips down the court, and cut PC’s lead in half at 6 with under two minutes to go. However, Gerard Coleman scored on a nice play inside giving the Friars a little breathing room. Fairfield then committed two turnovers in a row, and Providence iced the game at the line.
Improvements: The Friars shot 17-20 from the line, by far their best from the two exhibition games plus the opener. It helps when Bryce Cotton and Vincent Council are the ones taking the majority of the attempts. The team is once again showing better shot selection and refraining from relying on the three-ball. Under 10 attempts! PC went 3-8 from behind the arc, and LaDontae Henton took the most going 1-5! They were all open looks too.
Play of the Game: Lots of big plays made by the 3 C’s, but one that stood out was Bryce Cotton driving a making a sweet left handed layup off the glass in front of 7-footer Ryan Olander.
More to come tomorrow.
“I’m not running from Fairfield. I’m sprinting home.” – Ed Cooley on taking the job at PC.
Fairfield point guard Derek Needham apparently didn’t care for the semantics of the move, and had mentioned circling the game against Providence on the calendar as soon as the Stags non-conference schedule was announced. Or added it to his iCal on his iPhone? Or whatever the kids do these days. Nevertheless, Ed Cooley will make his return to Fairfield to face the team he constructed that will have a great chance at a tourney run this season. Knowing Coach Cooley’s personality and what he means to his players, it’s hard to think they hold any real ill will for his decision to leave and take his dream job at Providence. However, it’s human nature to have a little extra step in your game while playing against the coach who left your team. The Friars are going to have their own issues with playing a tough team on the road with a packed crowd, so they will definitely have their hands full given the whole situation.
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 7:30PM EST
Opponent: Fairfield (1-0)
Location: Webster Bank Arena at Harvard Yard
Spread: Fairfield -7.5
ESPN Accuscore: Fairfield 72.7, Providence 62.4 (Fairfield wins 78.1% in 10,000 simulations)
CBSSports Daily Picks: Fairfield 72, Providence 66
Ken Pomeroy Projection: Fairfield 76, Providence 69 (Fairfield wins with 71% confidence)
Check out the rest of the preview after the jump.
Monday night’s game against Fairfield will not be on TV anywhere. For the local peeps, it will be on WEEI 103.7FM radio, but it is also online if you subscribe to Friars.com All-Access.
If you are in NY/NJ or your cable provider has SNY, they will be re-airing the game on Tuesday. SNY’s online schedule says it is on at 12:30PM, but my Comcast guide says 2:30PM. Might want to tape both just in case. Make space on your DVR by getting rid of all those Gossip Girl and 16 and Pregnant episodes!