October 24, 2020

Orange Crush: Syracuse Too Much for PC

posted on: Thursday February 4, 2010

Dan Ollquist ’10 / Sports Editor

It almost seems like the Big East scheduling committee decided to play a cruel joke on the Providence College Men’s Basketball Team. After undoubtedly their biggest win of the year over then-No. 19 Connecticut, the Friars were sent packing to take on a talented Cincinnati team as well as the No. 4 Syracuse Orange over the span of just four days. Two losses later and facing the prospects of having to run the gauntlet of playing four top-10 teams over their next five games, things are suddenly not looking so bright in Friartown. On Tuesday, Feb. 2, the Friars traveled to the always rowdy Carrier Dome to take on what is arguably the most well-rounded team in the country, the Syracuse University Orange. The Orange entered the game having won its previous eight games and 21 of its first 22 games overall. A win against Providence would give ‘Cuse their best start ever, and they made sure to seize the opportunity in front of their hometown fans. Throughout the first half of play the Friars hung tough, but were clearly out-matched in certain areas of the game; namely, low-post play. Hall-of-Fame Head Coach Jim Boeheim did an excellent job of drawing up a gameplan that focused on getting the ball to big man Arinze Onuaku early and often.Despite the best efforts of Bilal Dixon ’13, Onuaku overpowered the red-shirt freshman on the low blocks, scoring 10 of the Orange’s first 18 points to help Syracuse race out to an early 18-8 lead. With the game looking like it could be headed for an early rout, the Friars battled back thanks in large part to the play of Vincent Council ’13.Council, who has played like an experienced senior for most of the season, did an excellent job breaking down the trademark Syracuse 2-3 zone and finding open teammates. With Providence trailing 19-12, Council either assisted or scored on seven out of the Friars’ next eight scoring possessions and then capped the half off by making four straight free-throws to bring the Friars within three at 37-34 as the half-time horn sounded.The momentum and swagger that PC showed at the end of the first half certainly did not carry over into the second half. After a careless turnover by Brian McKenzie ’10 coupled with two quick Orange baskets, Providence found themselves on the wrong end of a 9-0 Syracuse run which pushed the Orange lead to 46-34. The early Syracuse run was pretty much all she wrote for the Friars. The Syracuse lead would balloon to as many as 19 points before the Orange secured an 85-68 win.Despite the

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