That was one of the most frustrating first halfs of basketball I’ve ever watched. 14 points is the worst half output since 2/5/02 when PC only put up 11 points in a half against UConn. It took PC nearly 13 minutes to reach double figures. The Friars also shot just 18% in the first half. As ugly as PC played, Marquette wasn’t exactly playing like a well oiled machine and as PC went on a 13-0 run in the 2nd half to get within 6, I remember looking up and realizing that Marquette had only scored 6 points in the first 9 minutes and change of the 2nd half. But PC just couldn’t get over the hump and come all the way back. The closest they would get was within 3 with 11:37 to go after Henton converted a 3 point play on an And 1. KMac did nail it though. https://twitter.com/KevinMcNamara33/status/429061973620178944 All around, no one on the Providence team played well tonight. Cotton scored 20 but had 5 turnovers and seemed to be rushing at times and also a bit out of control. He was not the only one as Harris only scored 3 points and had 5 turnovers against 0 assists. Henton scored 16 2nd half points after going scoreless in the 1st half. Batts looked out of sync all night. He was also on the ground a lot tonight and seemed very frustrated. This brings me to my next point – what the F were the refs looking at all night? This game had the feel of an old school Big East game where the players were allowed to commit 2nd degree assault on the court without hearing a whistle. It was that way on both ends of the court but it’s very frustrating when the emphasis all year has been on handchecking and allowing the offensive players to move freely with the ball and then you throw a wrench in things and allow the players to be all over each other and not even consider calling a foul. This is a different game if the refs are calling all the bumping and handchecking. One of the concerns I mentioned in my preview was that PC has struggled to shoot on the road and that they couldn’t afford to get down big early like they did at Villanova. Unfortunately that played out tonight and it wasn’t fun to watch. Additionally, PC had their worst free throw shooting game of the season going 10/17 (58%) including a rough 2/6 from Kadeem Batts. I was shocked to see that PC actually won the rebounding battle (40-37) because it seemed like Marquette was killing them on the glass in the 2nd half when PC was playing zone. All in all, the stats in the boxscore are pretty ugly for both teams but Marquette managed to fend off the PC run and do enough to pull out the win at home. PC really needs to rebound on Saturday at DePaul to split this road trip before returning to the Dunk on Tuesday to take on St. John’s who will be coming off a game against these Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
Horrific shooting in the first half (18%) and the worst first half scoring, 14 points, since they scored 11 against UConn in 2002. Henton woke up in the 2nd half after only 3 PC players scored (Cotton, Fortune and Kofane). All around a brutal game to watch.
Tune in tonight to catch “Tom and Cherry” from 5:30-6:30pm on WDOM 91.3.
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Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, WI
How: Fox Sports 1/WEEI 103.7 FM
- PC is 4-12 all time against Marquette and has lost 10 of their 11 matchups as members of the Big East
- Marquette has now played in 3 straight OT games after not playing any extra basketball in their first 17 games. They are 1-2 in those 3 contests
- Todd Mayo has been stepping up his scoring of late and he’s been doing it in clutch situations. Of the 28 points he has scored in Marquette’s last 3 games, 17 have come in the final minute of regulation or overtime
- Providence is looking for their 6th straight conference win for the first time since the 2003-2004 season. 6 is also the current record for longest Big East win streak in PC history
- Line opened at PC +5.5
Based on my numbers this game should be a pick ’em but my numbers don’t take into account home court advantage, etc. The line has since moved down a bit to 4.5 or 5 depending on where you look but about 2/3 of the money is coming in on the Friars from what I’ve seen.
It’s been well documented and discussed during the 4 day layoff between games that PC has struggled against Marquette over the years, especially in Milwaukee. The Friars last win against Marquette came in January 2007 at the Dunk. PC hasn’t won at Marquette – ever. This is a Friar team that is focused and playing their game right now though. Marquette is a team that has been very up and down all year and has gotten inconsistent production from just about everyone on their roster. Some of their fans see this season as a lost year and think Buzz Williams should be focusing on the future already.
PC has only played 4 road games this year and has split the contest 2-2. The Friar’s biggest issue on the road has been their shooting. Granted their shooting hasn’t been all that spectacular at the Dunk either but they cannot afford to get into an early hole a la @ Villanova. They enter tonight’s game with an eFG% of 46.9 which is good for 282nd in the nation according to Kenpom. Not surprisingly, PC’s offense has had better efficiency numbers in their road wins than their road losses but a lot of the other stats don’t really present any patterns. Maybe that’s because of the small sample size or maybe it’s because this team hadn’t established their identity until recently.
The key to the game will be for Providence to play their game (duh). Cotton and Batts should continue to work the pick and roll and they should be getting into the lane and looking to score in the paint or get fouled (or both, preferably). Fortune will have to shut down Todd Mayo who has played pretty well at home this season. I think the X factor for tonight’s game will be Tyler Harris. He can provide another scoring threat for PC who may need that “other” person to step up and help out Cotton and Henton/Batts if those guys get off to a slow start and he may present some matchup problems/force Marquette to adjust their lineups. I think Henton will continue his strong rebounding numbers from Saturday when he registered his 22nd career double double (only 2nd of this season). This will likely be a grind it out game (Marquette is ranked as the best scoring defense in the Big East at 65.5 ppg) that is won on the glass and at the free throw line. That favors Providence.
Prediction: Providence 62 Marquette 60
- Heading into tonight’s matchup against the Marquette Golden Eagles, Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket release today has PC as a 10 seed in the South region playing Texas. He has also moved them from “Last Four In” to “Last Four Byes”.
- BracketMatrix.com is showing PC in 64 brackets out of 67 possible brackets with an average seed of 11. Last week they were only in 57 brackets with an average seed of 12. The latest update on this is 1/29/14 7:29pm.
- PC’s RPI is 43 according to RPIforecast.com’s Live RPI
|STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE AND RPI
|All Division I games (15-5)
|Conference games (5-2)
|Non-conference D-I games (10-3)
|RECORD VS. TEAMS RANKED 1-50 (2-3)
|RECORD VS. TEAMS RANKED 51-100 (5-1)
|RECORD VS. TEAMS RANKED 101-200 (3-1)
|RECORD VS. TEAMS RANKED 201-PLUS (5-0)
Share your favorite #FriarTBT pictures today and every Thursday. I’ll be focusing on Marquette since PC will take on the Golden Eagles in 8 hours on Fox Sports 1.