posted on: Thursday February 27, 2020
by Cam Smith ’21
Sports Assistant Editor
The second week of February was a great one for Providence College athletics, as four Friars took home weekly awards for their outstanding play. Besides putting up great stats, Alpha Diallo ’20, Alyssa Geary ’22, Lauren DeBlois ’23, and Toby Burgdorf ’21 all played key roles in leading their respective teams to pivotal victories.
The Big East Player of the Week went to Diallo, who became the first PC Men’s Basketball Team player to receive the award since Rodney Bullock ’17 in 2016. The senior forward averaged 27 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while leading the Friars to a 1-1 record for the week.
Certainly contributing to his achievement is the fact that Diallo set single-game career highs in both points and rebounds during the week. On Feb. 13, Diallo grabbed an impressive 17 rebounds to go along with 19 points in a loss to St. John’s University. He followed that performance up by pouring in 35 points on 5-5 shooting from the three-point line in a statement win against tenth-ranked Seton Hall University.
Diallo’s outburst from downtown came as a bit of a surprise due to the fact that he attempted zero three-pointers in the previous game against St. John’s University. Even so, there was little hesitation in pulling the trigger against the Pirates. “I just tried to do whatever it took to help us get the win,” said Diallo after the game. “My teammates were finding me in open spots. I make those shots a lot in practice, so they knew to have confidence in me.”
Further sweetening Diallo’s triumphant week is the fact that his scoring outburst against Seton Hall pushed him past 1,500 career points. Diallo now sits as one of just 17 Friars in school history to pass the scoring milestone.
Meanwhile, on the women’s basketball team, Geary was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. In a week that very much mirrored Diallo’s, Geary helped lead her team to a 1-1 record while posting a team high in points against Seton Hall.
“It felt pretty good to receive the weekly award,” said Geary when asked about the honor. “I did not expect it at all and was shocked that I was even considered, let alone picked as a recipient.”
Geary credited her teammates for allowing her to play at such a high level in recent weeks. “I owe it all to them. They have the confidence to constantly feed me the ball in the post or kick it out to me believing that I can knock that shot down.”
Geary played a crucial role in the Friars’ defeat of St. John’s on Feb. 16, posting 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one block to go along with a game-saving three pointer to tie the game with 1:36 left in regulation. “I knew I was feeling the three,” Geary said of the shot following the game. “I knew I was going to knock that down and my teammates gave me the confidence to do it.”
Geary would later add, “The three was a great play because of the way my teammates hustled down the floor and found me. Mary [Baskerville ’22] could have easily tried and scored as soon as she got the ball, but she gave me that extra pass we practice with one another and I was able to knock it down.”
Geary and the Friars would go on to seal the victory on a miraculous Earlette Scott ’22 and-one from the top of the key with four seconds remaining.
Representing the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team, DeBlois continued PC’s success by being named the Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. She and the rest of the squad took down third-ranked Northeastern University on Feb. 14 in a game that featured two goals from DeBlois.
Her first goal came off a Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 faceoff win that was flicked back to Whitney Dove ’20. Dove slid it over to DeBlois, who placed a perfect wrister through traffic into the back of the net at 16:04 in the second period.
DeBlois’ second goal just so happened to be a game-winner, as she sent the Huskies packing with a wrister from the point with 1:03 remaining in overtime. The goal would secure a 2-1 Friar victory and the second game-winner in Deblois’ young career.
Finally, Burgdorf wrapped up a phenomenal week for Friar athletics by being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week for men’s lacrosse. Burgdorf picked up a career-high in saves versus Bryant University in the Ocean State Cup, stifling 15 shots on a .625 save percentage. In the fourth quarter alone, he turned back seven shots compared to a measly two by the opposing goalie.
It was the second time this year that Burgdorf has been named Defensive Player of the Week, with both honors due in large part to the goalie’s impressive 3-0 record in his first three career starts for PC.
Diallo, Geary, and DeBlois look to continue their success as their respective teams make late-season pushes for the postseason. Burgdorf, on the other hand, looks to maintain his status as a defensive stalwart as the men’s lacrosse team continues to start the season strong. Regardless of the status of their season, all four athletes have shined so far this year for the Friars, and their long list of accolades is a testament to their hard work.