The Providence Friars sent fans home happy before the Christmas break, as they dismantled the Texas Longhorns 70-48.
Providence came into this contest ready to play, and wasted very little time opening up a lead on the Longhorns.
Throughout the first half, Providence dispelled the notion that they are a poor offensive unit. They effectively spaced the floor, cut to the basket, and kept the ball moving. They assisted on 11 of their 16 first half field goals.
The Friars offense looked fluid in the first half, and it was evident on the stat sheet. Coach Ed Cooley’s team shot 45% from the field in the first half, and 50% from beyond the perimeter.
Defensively, the Friars did a nice job taking Texas out of their offense. The Longhorns were not able to create many good possessions early on. As a result, Texas trailed Providence at the half 43-28.
Coming out of the half, the Friars looked slightly less sharp. Nevertheless, they were able to make plays when it mattered most. Any Texas rally was answered with a big play. This was best proven when Providence guard Alpha Diallo was fouled going up for a layup on the Friars third offensive rebound of the possession. He would make the basket and the foul shot, extending the lead to 52-33.
Simply put, the Friars were the better team today. They made shots at a higher clip, were much tougher on the glass, and turned over Texas enough to stifle their offense.
Providence shot about 39% from the field, and 38% from deep. Conversely, Texas only shot 31% from the field, and 14% from distance.
Additionally, Providence corralled 52 rebounds as opposed to 39 for the Longhorns.
The Friars had three scorers with double digits this afternoon. Diallo led the way for Providence tallying 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. Not far behind was Luwane Pipkins who added 13 points of his own, 12 of which came from the perimeter. The third double digit scorer was Nate Watson who scored 10, and secured 7 rebounds.
Emmitt Holt added a nice punch down low for the Friars. He finished with 6 points and 9 rebounds, while adding 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. However, he was carried off the floor in the second half with an apparent knee injury. The injury does not appear to be too serious, as Holt did join his coach and teammate Kalif Young at the post-game press conference.
As for the Longhorns, they were led by Courtney Ramey who had 12 points and 7 rebounds. The only other Texas player that really could score this afternoon was Matt Coleman, who added 11 points. Ramey and Coleman accounted for nearly half of Texas’ total scoring. The ball was often stagnant on the Longhorns end.
“We played too much one-on-one today,” remarked head coach Shaka Smart, “You have to move the basketball more.” His team only assisted on 5 of their 19 field goals.
That concludes nonconference play for the Friars. Providence opens up Big East play at home against the Hoyas of Georgetown. That contest is scheduled to tip at 5:30 PM on New Year’s Eve.