The Providence Friars did not have a good time in Evanston Wednesday night.
Shooting a dismal 30.6 percent on 72 field goal attempts, the Friars shot their way out of a victory and into the loss column. They fell victim to the Northwestern Wildcats in the process, as four double-figure performances helped lead the Cats to a 72-63 win over the Friars.
Missed shots were unfortunately the name of the game for Providence in this one. After coming into the night shooting 39.1 percent on 3-pointers and 56 percent on 2-pointers, PC converted on just 22.9 percent of their 3-balls and 37.8 percent of their 2-balls. They had just 14 makes from inside and attempted 35 long range shots, with only eight coming up answered. It was one of their more brutal performances in recent memory, and one that will surely sting for a while.
Northwestern had little trouble in shooting the basketball, meanwhile. The Wildcats sunk 48.9 percent of their 47 field goal attempts and made seven of their 16 3-point attempts. Those combined with a FT% of 76 percent (19-25) were a recipe for success for the Big Ten’s resident felines. And they certainly made for a heck of a stew.
Four Northwestern players got into double figures Wednesday night. The leader of the pack was Ryan Young, who scored 16 points on 7-of-9 from the field and 2-for-4 at the FT line. Anthony Gaines closely followed with 14 points, and added seven rebounds, four assists and two steals to that line. Young also had seven boards along with three assists and a block. Miller Kopp scored 12 points with seven boards, and Pat Spencer picked up 11 points and went 4-of-5 from the FT line. A.J. Turner joined the seven rebound party, as he picked them all up on the defensive glass.
Pete Nance came close to double figures, as the sophomore finished with nine points. He had a team-high eight rebounds, along with two blocks, two steals and two assists.
The Friars were led by Alpha Diallo and David Duke, who combined for 29 points. Diallo had 15 versus Duke’s 14, but neither got there efficiently. Diallo shot just 6-for-21 from the floor while Duke was a meager 4-for-10. Luwane Pipkins and Greg Gantt Jr. each got nine points, and Gantt was the outlier of the night, in that he made all four shots he took from the field. Pipkins, meanwhile, was 3-for-14, with all his makes coming from outside.
Maliek White and Emmitt Holt each finished with seven points off the bench. The same can’t be said for starters A.J. Reeves and Kalif Young, who were both held scoreless on the night.
The good news for Providence is that it probably can’t get much worse than that performance from the field, and they still found a way to get up to 63 points in the process. They certainly will have to touch up on things, but this was a pretty tough loss to take and a bitter pill to swallow. They will have a chance to bounce back on Saturday, with KenPom’s 336th-ranked Saint Peter’s coming to Friartown.