FACT: Drinking makes watching sports more enjoyable.
FACT: The day before Thanksgiving is America’s favorite unofficial holiday: Black Wednesday.
FACT: I am known from time to time of consuming a few (a lot) of alcoholic beverages.
The first half of the Belmont Bruins at the Providence Friars was highly indicative of the entire game. The score was 28-25, with the most Matt Dillon looking mascot in the Big East leading. It featured 12 different lead changes where the biggest lead for either team only reached five points.
The glaring stat was that both teams were shooting under 36% from the field with Belmont shooting 19 of their 27 shots from the 3-point line and nailing only five of them.
My personal first half stats two Fat Tires and a rumbling appetite.
A good “capital J” Journalist would explain how tight of a defensive battle this truly was in the first 20 mins but, at this moment, in a lack luster first half, and as a “capital B” Blogger, I decided to order some hot wings to spice this game up a bit.
After devouring a dozen wings, choking down a warm Natural Lite, (that has been sitting in my living room since before I moved in to my apartment) and pondering if having heartburn at 22 is normal, I strapped in for the second half.
To start out the second half it was obvious that Belmont Coach Rick Byrd sat down his team in the locker room, shrugged his shoulders and said “shooters shoot”. The Bruins started off 3-4 from beyond the arc in the first seven minutes and opened up the rest of the floor.
Unfortunately, Providence’s three-point shooting was spottier then Ed Cooley’s hair shooting (2-10). They were able to fight their way through the half thanks huge
Providence was down by 2 points with 27 seconds remaining when Bullock drew a foul to shoot two free throws and made them both to tie the game at 63.
Leading scorer for the Bruins Dylan Windler (17pts) converted and alley-oop to put Belmont up 2 with 4.7 seconds to play.
Coach Cooley decided against taking a time-out and trusted his upperclassmen guards to get an amble shot to send the game into overtime.
Cartwright did one better.
Driving the entire length of the court, Cartwright pulled up 2-3 feet outside the top of the key and knocked down the game winner to astonish Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Providence put up an all around good defensive team performance but it was the critical offensive team performances from Bullock, Cartwright, and Jalen Lindsey (12 points, 4-7 3pt) that proved to be the difference.
Providence came in to the game leading the nation in three point field goal percentage with 52.4 percent. Tonight they were held to 28.6 percent on 6-21 shooting. It was odd to see the Friars struggle to find a rhythm but, like we saw with Marquette against Wichita St. in the Maui Invitational, good shooting teams have their off nights. Despite the struggles this was a great win over a Belmont team that Providence could see again in the NCAA Tournament.