October 24, 2020

Friars Down DePaul for Solid League Win

posted on: Thursday February 4, 2010

John Butler ’11 / Asst. Sports Editor

Having emerged from a dismal January which saw the Women’s Basketball Team go 3-6 and drop three consecutive losses to close out the month, the Friars were desperately seeking to turn over a new leaf with the calendar page as they took on DePaul last night at home.Providence earned its first conference win in more than two weeks with a slim but decisive 70-66 victory over the Blue Devils which came down to the wire.With the win, Providence improves its record to 4-5, which is good for the 10th spot in the Big East. More important, the win further solidifies PC’s chances of earning a spot in the middle of the conference pack. The Friars currently share 10th place with Syracuse, and both the Friars and the Orangemen sit just one game in the loss column behind four teams with 4-4 records. The translation: As long as things keep moving in the right direction for the Friars, anything can happen.”We’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” said Head Coach Phil Seymore before playing DePaul. “If we stay in the middle of the pack, then we can get into tournament play. And that’s what we’re striving for.”The Friars showed from the outset that they were firing on all cylinders against DePaul. Providence put up 36 points in the first half—the most points they have scored in the first since beating Syracuse on Jan. 19—which sent them into the locker room with a comfortable six-point lead, that was largely the result of smart shooting.”I think we’re more comfortable at home,” said Emily Cournoyer ’10. “And our shooting percentage is definitely better at home.”Field goals and three pointers, which have been troublesome for the Friars in recent games, were falling like raindrops for the girls in black and white. And while the outside game was in good form, it was a series of lay-ups—by Cournoyer, Symone Roberts ’13, and Chelsea Marandola ’10—at the end of the first half that built up the lead.In the second half, the Friars came out a bit flat, but their man-to-man defense kept the Blue Devils’ offense in check. Providence’s lead increased to as many as eight points by the nine minute mark, thanks in large part to stellar play by Marandola and some gritty work around the baseline by Brittany Dorsey ’10. Dorsey had a knack for consistently positioning herself in the right places at the right times in the second period.Marandola made a lay-in with 45 seconds left, and PC took a 68-62 lead. After the referees resolved some time clock issues, Dorsey sealed the win by making two free throws with 5.5 seconds remaining.It was a different story altogether for PC on the road against St. John’s on Saturday, Jan. 30. Mi-Khida Hankins ’10 led the charge with 15 points, and Marandola chipped in with nine points, but the Red Storm defense effectively took the Friars’ leading scorer out of the game’s equation en route to a 70-46 romp.”[Marandola] only had eight shots, and that’s a low for her, because she averages about 14 shots,” said Coach Seymore. “They did a good job of getting out there and guarding her.”PC shot just 26.2 percent from field goal range, and 15.0 percent from behind the three point line. They made just three of their 20 attempted treys.The inconsistency from beyond the arc has been trying but versatility becomes a crucial virtue when one aspect of the game is not working.”When our outside game is down, our coach tries to run plays for the big kids, to drive the ball, to get more looks closer to the basket,” said Cournoyer.The Friars held a 22-21 lead with 7:22 left in the first half against St. John’s. But they could not defend or increase the lead, and they fell behind after a 15-2 St. John’s run to close out the first half.”Against St. John’s, their bench out-scored ours, by a lot,” said Coach Seymore. “We need our bench to step up more. And a couple of our players who have been in slumps need to step up more. That’s what we’re striving for.”

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