Providence and Memphis waged war in a rock fight on Friday night in Florida, and in the end, the Friars emerged victorious from the battle of attrition with a 58-49 victory.
Rodney Bullock, who led all Friars scorers with 18 points, delivered the proverbial dagger with 57 seconds remaining after making a jumper plus a free throw. Bullock finished shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line, and added three boards, three assists and a steal with no turnovers.
Emmitt Holt and Kyron Cartwright joined Bullock in double figures with 16 and 12 points respectively. Holt also shot 7-of-13 from the field while Cartwright was mired in struggles as he posted a 3-for-12 mark from the field. As a whole, Providence shot 40 percent on 55 attempts while their opposite posted a mark of just 34.5 percent on 58 attempts.
Rodney Bullock is the go-to guy
The Friars offense looks a lot better when Rodney Bullock is getting it going. And that proved itself to be true on Friday night as Bullock helped fuel the comeback effort. He had been one of the most significant contributors (via KenPom.com) going into the matchup and his numbers in Friday night’s contest will certainly up his efficiency numbers. So long as he keeps this up, the offense for the Friars will likely go through Rodney Bullock if they want to maintain success.
Memphis’ scorching offense was put out
The Tigers’ offense may not have been super efficient going into this game but they were certainly putting up points in bunches. Through their first four games, the Tigers had posted an average of 91.25 points per game including a 104-point effort in their previous outing. Granted, their opponents were UT Rio Grande Valley, Milwaukee, Savannah State and McNeese State, but Memphis was certainly looking like a team that could score in bunches. Not so much on Friday night, as the Friars held them to just 51 points and a slash line of 34.5/21.7/54.5 on FG%/3PT%/FT%. Whatever the case — a bad shooting night, great Friar defense, bad luck, or all of the above — the Friars took advantage and got into the win column.
Providence will have their hands full with Virginia
The Cavaliers have been outstanding out of the gate, as you might expect. In their last four games, they’ve held their opponents to under 50 points including three efforts of less than 40 points. UVA will likely be the toughest team Providence faces throughout the nonconference portion of their schedule and their slow-tempo, high efficiency offense can be agitating to watch and play against. Providence will have to bring their A-game if they want to pull off the upset on Saturday, that’s for sure.