The 4-1 Providence Friars are back on the court Saturday. The Friars are set to face the Penn Quakers in a Big East-Ivy League showdown, a game that will be PC’s last in the state of Rhode Island in the month of November.
PC of course will be heading to SoCal to take part in the 2019 Wooden Legacy Tournament. And they’re seeking a 5-1 start to the season before they get there. They’ve won each of their last two games against the Saint Peter’s Peacocks and, most recently, the Merrimack Warriors this past Tuesday. The Friars started slowly in that game against Merrimack, but bounced back to roll 93-56.
Providence has maintained a strong advantage at home this year. They’ve won all four games at The Dunk, winning by an average of over 33 points. Their lone loss came on the road, of course, to the Northwestern Wildcats. But the game on Saturday is in Friartown, so that should do them good in the end.
Penn has been inconsistent this year. They started off hot with a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Then they promptly dropped one on the road in Houston to the Rice Owls. They went home for the first time this year back on November 13, and beat the La Salle Explorers in a Big 5 game. But the last we saw them, they lost to the Lafayette Leopards this past Tuesday night in Lafayette. In other words, Steve Donahue’s Quakers are 2-2 to start the year.
AJ Brodeur will be the one to watch for the Quakers. The senior forward has been lighting it up on the statsheet this year. His rebounding, assisting and shot-blocking have been pretty great this year, so we’ll have to see how the Friars can neutralize him. Offensively he’s been solid, shooting 49.1 percent on 2-pointers and 70 percent at the free throw line.
This game could prove ugly though if Providence’s shots aren’t falling. The Quakers haven’t exactly shot the ball well either this year. Many of their offensive numbers fall short of the nation’s average. They’ve also only eclipsed the 80-point mark once — their win over ‘Bama in the first game of the season. And they merely got to 81 that day.
The Friars have been solid on offense this year, of course, but have had their dry spells. They’ve eclipsed more than 80 points just twice this year: Tuesday against Merrimack and the opener against the Sacred Heart Pioneers. Given that teams seem to run real cold against PC, I’d expect this game to be low-scoring. It might not be close at the end, but I don’t think either team will light up the scoreboard.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 4 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Providence -14
Moneyline: Providence -1400 | Penn +800