Confidence is surely one powerful drug, and it seems that AJ Reeves has taken a healthy dose, serving as the Providence Friars’ spark plug the past two games. The senior wing had another stat-stuffing game yesterday and flirted with a triple-double. Reeves logged seventeen points, grabbed nine boards, and dished out seven assists, en-route to the Friars’ tenth win of the season. This is the second consecutive game where Reeves has had a serious offensive impact and follows a season-high performance of twenty-four points earlier this week against Vermont.
Sixth year forward, Noah Horchler, put on quite the performance yesterday afternoon as well, logging yet another double-double on the season, his fourth to be exact. Horchler scored 12 points in 28 minutes of run and grabbed ten rebounds. Night in and night out Horchler continues to prove his importance to this squad and has rightfully earned his title as the team’s “glue guy.
The dominance on the wing didn’t stop with just Horchler and Reeves, however, as South Carolina transfer Justin Minaya also put up some notable numbers for the Friars. In his third start of the season, Minaya showed another skill-set different from his defense-oriented style of play. Minaya poured in fourteen points on an immaculate 6-6 shooting, and also drained both of his three-point attempts. On a night when Nate Watson and Al Durham were held to single-figure scoring, it was certainly reassuring to see the wing players picking up the slack offensively
While this game did have its highlights, there were certainly some pain points for the Friars as well. Coming into the game as 27-point favorites, there were definitely moments when the home team looked to fulfill Vegas’ prediction. However, someone must have left the door open at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on this chilly December afternoon, because the Friars went ice cold in the second half, scoring only seven points over the game’s final thirteen-plus minutes. Thankfully, the Friars’ lead was comfortable enough to ensure a victory and they were able to slip away un-harmed
This win improves the Friars to 10-1, the best the team has been at this point in the season under Ed Cooley. This win also marks the final non-conference game for the Friars, who will be heading to Storrs, Connecticut, this upcoming Saturday to kick-off conference play against BIG EAST rival, UConn. As it stands, the Friars sit at 39th in the NCAA NET Rankings and 57th in KenPom. The Friars will have a full week off before facing UConn, next Saturday at 5 p.m.