posted on: Thursday November 15, 2018
By Karlene Cudak ’19
Guest Staff Writer
Within the last week, the Providence College Men’s Basketball Team has taken on Wichita State University and the College of the Holy Cross. Beginning last Friday, November 9, the team fell to the Wichita State Shockers in the Veterans Classic with a score of 80-83.
The Veterans Classic is an event held annually to honor our nation’s veterans and showcase the U.S. Naval Academy. PC was chosen along with three other teams to participate in these games.
During the game against the Shockers, David Duke ’22 scored his first points in the Friars uniform during the first half of the game as he hit two free throws. He continued to score by making another layup where he was fouled. Duke was sent to the free throw line where he scored another point to make it a three-point play.
The Shockers went on a 10-0 run scoring enough points to take the lead back from the Friars leading into the halftime score of 44-39.
After the halftime locker room pep talks, the Friars came back for the second half ready to fight for the win. Isaiah Jackson ’19RS had a steal at 19:23 that was followed by a dunk by AJ Reeves ’22 assisted by Duke.
This brought the team within a three-point deficit, only to be decreased once again after Alpha Diallo ’20 stole the ball and finished the play with a fast-break layup. The Shockers were victorious in the end after a hard-fought game. However, this did not discourage the Friars as they prepared for their next game against Crusaders from the College of the Holy Cross.
The Friars prepared for a home game on Nov. 13 against the Crusaders, taking notes from their last game on how to improve in order to win. The records of the two teams were tied at 1-1 going into this game, and at the half, it looked as though the Crusaders would take the win to make their record 2-1.
The Crusaders came out of the gate with a three-court press, which caused 10 turnovers and contributed 12 of their points in the first half. Holy Cross led by four points at halftime with a score of 37-33.
The second half began with another four points scored by the Crusaders, bringing the score to 41-33, an eight-point lead over the Friars. At minute 12:51, Duke tied the game at 48-48 after the Friars fought hard to regain control of the game. They continued to hold the Crusaders at the same score, while the Friars went on a 9-0 run. Head Coach Ed Cooley credits this second half explosion to their switch to a zone defense. “I thought our defense tonight actually won us the game, which I didn’t think they could, based on the first 26 minutes of the game,” commented Cooley.
The Friars’ willpower and fight, along with Diallo’s team-high of 18 points and rebound to end the game, allowed the team to defeat the Holy Cross Crusaders 70-61. Look for more from our Friars as the play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Nov. 17-18 beginning with a matchup versus the University of South Carolina.