Women’s Basketball Season Comes to an End

by npatano on March 24, 2022

Friar Sports

Friars Fall to Georgetown University in First Round of Big East Tournament

Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Co-Editor

The Friars women’s basketball season came to an end on March 4 after a 68-55 defeat to Georgetown University in the opening round of the Big East Women’s Tournament. 

After being down by one at halftime, the Hoyas jumped out to a 22-0 run in the third quarter. The Friars were unable to bounce back, and their season was over. 

Emily Archibald ’25 scored a career-high 21 points in the contest, shooting 7-9 from the floor and 6-8 from three-point territory. Janai Crooms ’23 added 18 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block for the Friars, but the Hoyas were able to hold on. 

The Friars finished the season 11-19, 6-14 in Big East play, and ended the year on a five-game losing streak. They were 6-11 at Alumni Hall and 5-7 away from home. 

Crooms completed her first year for the Friars after transferring to her home state from Michigan State University. She averaged 13.8 points with an average of 34.7 minutes per game in her first year as a Friar. Crooms also recorded six double-doubles – a team-best – and was the only player in the Big East ranked inside the top-15 in scoring and also ranked inside the top-10 in rebounding, assists, blocked shots, offensive rebounds, and defensive rebounds. 

The Cranston, Rhode Island native, who is the first female to have her number retired at St. Andrew’s School, shot 43.6 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from behind the three-point arc. Along with Kylee Sheppard ’25, Crooms was awarded All-Big East Honorable Mention accolades. 

Sheppard was a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team. She only played in 19 games and started in 18 of them after missing 10 games in the beginning of her rookie season due to injuries. By the end of the year, Sheppard finished third in the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game 2.1 assists per game while second in steals averaging 1.6. 

Alyssa Geary ’22 and Mary Baskerville ’22 both completed their senior season for the Friars. Geary started in all 30 games, averaging 26.4 minutes per game and 9.5 points per game. The senior shot 37.7 percent from the field while adding 4.2 rebounds a game.

Alyssa Geary
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Per her instagram, Geary will be using her extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 and transferring to Indiana University. She played 118 games for the Friars, a total of 2655 minutes and 854 points. 

Baskerville played in 23 of the Friars’ 30 games this season. She averaged 19.0 minutes per game and finished the year averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds. There is no word yet on the future of Baskerville and what she will plan to do with the extra year of eligibility. 

Next year, with the return of Crooms and an entire year of Sheppard in the lineup, the Friars will have potential. They will need to make up for size with Geary leaving, but a young team under the leadership of Jim Crowley will continue to grow in the 2022-23 season. 

Men’s Basketball Continues to Shine

by npatano on February 7, 2022

Friar Sports

Friars Complete Strong Winter Break

Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Co-Editor

Winter break came in the middle of December for the students of Providence College, but the Men’s Basketball Team continued their hot start to the season.

The Friars started Big East conference play on Dec. 18, the last day of finals, against the No. 20-ranked University of Connecticut. Before conference play began, coach Ed Cooley’s team was 10-1 and looking to start off conference play on the right foot. 

The Harry A. Gampel Pavilion would host old rivals in the Huskies and Friars to kick off conference play. PC was looking to win their sixth consecutive game and, thanks to the help of AJ Reeves ’22 and his 16 points, the Friars were victorious in a 57-53 game. 

Reeves, a senior, went 4-8 from three-point territory and was crucial in opening up their biggest lead of the first half where they led 31-22 after 20 minutes of play, and Reeves was responsible for 12 of them. 

Ed Croswell ’22 would add 11 points and four rebounds, while the other big man Nate Watson ’22GS had 10 points and seven rebounds. 

Jared Bynum ’23 returned to play after missing four games with a leg injury, and he would be a spark off the bench adding nine points and six rebounds. 

After the game, Ed Cooley said, “We knew coming on the road would be a challenge for us. I couldn’t be more proud of our men.” This would be the best start to PC’s season under Cooley since the 2015-16 season, a year the Friars reached No. 8 in the polls and won an NCAA Tournament game. 

After a statement win against a ranked opponent, the Friars were looking to extend their six-game winning streak 11 days later when they would host No. 15-ranked Seton Hall University Pirates. 

In between the games, the Friars would be ranked No. 21 in the national polls, the first time since February of 2016. Since this week, the team has kept their Top 25 standing. 

The Pirates came to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center following the Christmas period and a time when they were dealing with several players in COVID-19 protocols. Seton Hall would be without Ike Obiago and Tyrese Samuel, and the Friars took advantage. 

Noah Horchler ’22GS recorded his fifth double-double of the season, dropping home game-highs of 17 points and 13 rebounds in the 70-65 victory. 

Nate Watson tallied 14 points and became just the 18th player in Providence College history to record 1,500 or more career points. 

The Friars have five graduates this season and two seniors, and after the game, Cooley said, “We have a veteran group… You can go into every game expecting to win when you have an older group.” 

A few days later, the Friars would travel to Chicago for a contest with DePaul University. From the very beginning, Cooley’s squad was ready to play and controlled every aspect of the game. At halftime, the Friars were up 42-17 after scoring 22 unanswered points. The Blue Demons were unable to overcome the deficit and the Friars defeated DePaul, 70-53.

Another game and another contribution for the veteran team. It was contributions from two transfers that helped the Friars to their eighth consecutive victory. Indiana University transfer Al Durham ’22GS and University of South Carolina transfer Justin Minaya ’22GS both had double-digit scoring numbers.

Minaya has been great defensively for the Friars and continues to guard every opponent’s best player. 

Durham would end the game with 17 points while Minaya finished with a double-double, 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. 

After the game, Cooley said, “We were able to set the tone early. I thought we played a really good game today.” The Friars were now 13-1 and 3-0 in Big East play.

Then, the Friars traveled to play a desperate Marquette Golden Eagles team, and it was one everyone wanted to forget.

PC committed two turnovers on their first three possessions and the Golden Eagles were up to a 6-0 lead. A couple of minutes later, the Friars closed a double-digit deficit down to four, but then Marquette went on a 20-0 run and never looked back. At halftime, the Friars were down by 20 and then lost the game by 32, with a final score of 88-56. 

The only positive light from the game was Nate Watson setting the record for the most games in program history with 137. 

Cooley was still upbeat about his team after the blowout and before Saturday’s game against St. John’s University, he said, “I’ll have my team ready to play.”

The Red Storm came to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center that weekend and although the Friars trailed at halftime by three, an explosive second half thanks to Watson’s 18 of final 22 points, the Friars got back to winning ways with an 83-73 victory. 

This win was Ed Cooley’s 300th career victory. He was emotional after the game saying, “When you do something that you love, you’re at a place that you love, and you work with people that give you the opportunity to do this, it’s amazing.”

The Friars were feeling good heading into a big stretch of games, but COVID-19 ran rampant in the team before the matchup with Creighton University. 

Three straight games would be canceled for the Friars due to COVID-19 within the program, and Coach Cooley admitted he tested positive along with some players and staff. The Friars would be off for 12 days before playing again on Jan. 20 against Georgetown University, a game which was rescheduled from earlier in the season after the Hoyas had COVID-19 within their program.

It was the first week of the second semester and the first game back for the Friars after the mini-hiatus. The Friars were the No. 21-ranked team, and the Hoyas gave them everything they had. 

Ed Croswell recorded a season-high 15 points, going perfect from the field with seven shots taken. Al Durham had 15 second half points, and Noah Horchler added 14 points. The Friars won 83-75.

With different players stepping up every game, Coach Cooley has said, “Our team is very close and connected. This team has really bought into their roles.” 

A noon tip-off against Butler University last Sunday saw the Friars at the top of the Big East standings. The team was 15-2 and 5-1 in Big East play for the first time since 2003-04 and had won 10 out of their last 11 games. They also went into the contest against the Bulldogs 11-0 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. 

A back-and-forth game is the tale of almost every Big East game, and this one was no different. After the Friars were up six at the half, the Bulldogs clawed their way back and took the lead in the second. 

Once again, thanks to the force of Ed Croswell and Nate Watson who continue to get better, the Friars remained perfect at home with a 69-62 victory. The Friars improved to 16-2 for the first time since the 1977-78 season and 6-1 in conference play for the first time ever. 

This win was Cooley’s 210th, and he surpassed the great Dave Gavitt for second place in all-time wins as Friar head coach. 

There is a lot to be excited for with this team, but this is just the start, and Cooley knows it: “We’ve still got a long way to go, but where we are today is a credit to the players.”

Recapping the Friar 5K

by The Cowl Editor on October 7, 2021

Friar Sports

Fr. Humbert Triumphs Over Dean Sears

Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Co-Editor

As the annual Providence College Homecoming was just getting underway, so too was the Friar 5K, a tradition continuing to be a massive hit.

The race has become a staple of Homecoming, a weekend which is already filled with so many great events for students, families, and faculty to be a part of the community.

Students, alumni, parents, family members, faculty, staff, and even the public were all invited to run or walk the 3.1 mile race. Racers were allowed to sign up individually or as a team to get in on the action.

Before the event, whoever pre-registered was given a free cotton race t-shirt. The event directors were also looking for female graduates or those running in honor of one to support the school with a donation towards the National Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Each runner who made an additional gift received an upgraded t-shirt to celebrate 50 years of women at PC.

Every runner of the 5K received a ticket for a complimentary beverage at the Homecoming Friar Fest, an outdoor party held on campus which offered food, drinks, and a place to catch up and meet fellow Friars.

At Friar Fest, awards were handed out to the overall male and female winners along with the top three male and female finishers in each age category.

A wide range of ages spanned the runners of this year’s event. The first group was 18-years-old and under. The second was 19-29, the third was 30-39, the fourth was 40-49, the fifth 50-59, all the way to group eight: those 80 years old and above.

The Friar 5K, which occurred on Oct. 2, courses around the PC community. The race begins right in front of Harkins Hall, travels through Eaton Street, up Enfield Avenue, down Naples Avenue, then turns down Sharon Street, goes back through Eaton Street, turns back onto the  campus, and finally finishes at the Ray Treacy Track at Hendricken Field.

To amp up the runners, the organizers of the event in recent years have set up a Friar 5K Spotify playlist, giving everyone who is running a chance to listen to past artists who have performed at PC and other popular hits to help motivate runners while they up their heart rates. .

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, every racer was blessed with perfect weather for the event: sunny and neither too hot nor too cold.

This great event allows friends and family to connect over fitness and an enjoyable time. It is not often that all members of the Friar family are able to get together at once, but this race offers the perfect opportunity, and the chance to settle long rivalries.

Back in Nov. 2020, Dr. Steven A. Sears was named Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Dean Sears wanted to take on an “unwavering commitment to [PC] students and their well-being” when he accepted the role. He has shown nothing but love and support to the PC community since he took over.

Sears, a U.S. Air Force veteran, isn’t shy of competition, and neither is Father Humbert Kilanowski, O.P., an Assistant Professor of mathematics at PC. Since the moment the two met and disovered each other’s running ability, they have fostered a runner’s feud.

This year’s 5K was no different, but there was a clear winner. Fr. Humbert came out victorious and said Dean Sears was not even close to him: “I never even saw him. He was behind me the whole time.” Fighting words to say the least.

Fr. Humbert credits much of his success to Ray Tracey, Providence College’s distinguished Cross Country and Track and Field coach. Coach Tracey inspired Fr. Humbert to pick up running and gave the Friar his personal training regimen. “I couldn’t have done it without him.”

The rivalry between Fr. Humber and Dean Sears has been gaining traction within Friartown. Commenting on the race, Fr. Cuddy stated, “Dean Sears has consistently beaten really fast runners half his age. But sadly it seems that the one foe he can’t outrun is Father Time.”

Fr. Humbert decided to continue the running feud by sending an email to his good friend Dean Sears, congratulating him on “winning his age group.” So, as all can tell, this rivalry runs deep.

Friar 5K
Photo Courtesy of Stew Milne

Dean Sears responded that Fr. Humbert has been “aiming for me since the day he arrived at PC.”

He also says there might be an obsession on Fr. Humbert’s part in wanting to beat him so badly. “Fr. Humbert has been training so hard for the past year to beat me, asking regularly ‘how fast are you running?’ ‘What is your 10K and 5K time?’ It seemed to be an obsession.” Dean Sears seemed shocked at how much Fr. Humbert really wanted to beat him.

The Friar community knows how much Dean Sears loves everything that has to do with PC, and he wanted nothing more than to make Fr. Humbert happy. “I felt kind of bad so I decided to hang back this year so he could win,” Dean Sears added.

“Watching him ahead of me was the greatest gift in this year’s Friar 5K. I really enjoy seeing others happy. This was his one Friar 5K that I will allow this to happen.”

In short, this victory may just be the start of an even deeper friendly competition between the two. Fellow Friars may see Dean Sears in the Concannon Fitness Center, or Fr. Humbert running along campus or in the streets, and no one should be surprised by Friars putting the work in.

Dean Sears also has a comment to make about future events: “I will have his name on the back of my shirt next year so he can see it while he is behind me. It may help him finish at a faster pace. It’s on!”

Word is spreading throughout the PC community that next year’s race should bring even more drama and that Dean Sears is determined to prove the 2021 race was only a fluke. Nick Braz ’23, who was in attendance that Saturday morning and knows the Dean well, declared, “insider sources tell us Dean Sears is training harder than ever for next year’s race. If you ever see him on campus, give him a thumbs up or a wave! Next year is your year!”

Either way, this year, Fr. Humbert got the better of Dean Sears. For the student body and everyone associated with PC, the Dean Sears and Fr.  Humbert Rivalry may be going on for years to come and may be a part of many Friar sports rivalries.

The Friar 5K is an opportunity for everyone to come together and show their love for PC. For some, it is the sparking of a rivalry that may only just be getting underway. Whether you are a new runner or a seasoned competitor with a longstanding rival, the Friar 5K is a fun and relaxed way for the Providence College community to come together as one. Go Friars!

Providence College Investigates: Who Will Win the 2021-22 College Football Season?

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2021


Alabama Crimson Tide

As always, we head into this NCAA football season with the spotlight centered on the same couple teams that we always see.

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide enters the season as the favorites to win the national championship, with The Ohio State University, Clemson University, and The University of Oklahoma right behind them as teams to look out for.

Although they each have a chance, no one will be stopping Alabama, who will be lifting the trophy at the end of the season.

The Crimson Tide will have a tough task ahead of them replacing nearly all of the superstar talent that they had on offense during the 2020 CFB season.

At quarterback, Nick Saban suffered a huge loss this offseason when his record-breaking quarterback, Mac Jones, was drafted in the first round to the New England Patriots (let’s go Mack). The man to fill his rather large shoes is 20-year-old Bryce Young.

The coaching staff in Tuscaloosa is more than confident that their young quarterback can get the job done, and scouts around the country concur.

Reigning Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith (WR) was also taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and will be dearly missed by the Alabama offense. Najee Harris (RB), Jaylen Waddle (WR), Alex Leatherwood (OT), Landon Dickerson (C), and Deonte Brown (G), are also key members of the 2021 Crimson Tide offense who were drafted to the NFL, so they definitely have their work cut out for them this off-season.

While expected to be great, it’s quite unrealistic to ask rookie Bryce Young to repeat what Alabama has done the past few years under Mac Jones.

Reports state that while comfortable in the pocket, Young will not be slinging the rock as frequently and effectively as past ‘Bama quarterbacks have.

And we can’t forget about their defense losing exceptional cornerback Patrick Surtain II to the Denver Broncos in the first round of the NFL Draft. Stay on the lookout for a hole in the Alabama defensive backfield.

Oklahoma is another team that I plan on keeping my eye on throughout the 2021 CFB season (as they always are). They are coming off an explosive season, ranking number 1 amongst all CFB offenses in 2020 and averaged close to 500 yards per game.

Oklahoma native quarterback Spencer Rattler is returning to the Sooners with his eyes on one thing: a National Championship. With seven returning starters around him, he may have the supporting cast to get the job done. With that being said, good luck against Alabama, Spencer.

Clemson Tigers

All the talk is about the Alabama University Crimson Tide this season, but the Clemson University Tigers are going to be National Champions once again under head coach Dabo Swinney.

To win in college football, you need a coach who can round his team together. Besides Nick Saban of Alabama, Dabo Swinney is the bestcoach in college football, and he has shown that for years now. Coaching matters.

The Tigers come into the 2021 season with the second best odds to win it all behind the Crimson Tide, but quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has already shown flashes of what he is going to do for Clemson this year.

After losing Trevor Lawrence, who entered into the NFL Draft and was the number one pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team suffered a huge loss. However, Uiagalelei is no scrub. He is more than capable of leading his team to a National Championship.

Uiagalelei is a five-star and top- ten recruit out of California from the class of 2020 who played last season when Lawrence was ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols.

He is exactly the type of player Clemson often recruits. He’s a very big player, standing at six foot four and 249 pounds with the arm strength to run any type of offense.

Although the Tigers lost to the University of Notre Dame in the first game Uiagalelei played, he still stood out with 439 passing yards and three touchdowns.

In the next game against Boston College, Uiagaleilei led the Tigers to a come-from-behind win and made one thing sure: He is impressive enough to be starting this upcoming season.

Then, it is not hard to look at the other side of the ball and see how impressive Clemson’s defense really is.

It becomes a lot easier for Dabo Swinney when he recruits top star talent, but he still needs to mesh everyone together. Even when theirbest players are out the door after three seasons, Swinney and his staff recruit well.

This year, the Tigers bring back nine of their 12 top tacklers. Linebacker Baylon Spector is the key returner in the heart of the defense as he led the team with 65 tackles and tackles for loss with 10.5.

Clemson dismissed All-ACC corner Derion Kendrick, but still had steady options in the backfield with Nolan Turner and Lannden Zanders.

By putting this team together with DJ Uiagalelei under center and a defense with a lot of returners, Dabo Swinney will win his third National Championship at Clemson.

The Grand Stage of All: The Olympics

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2021

Professional Sports

Two Providence College alumni, Emily Sisson ’14 and Ben Connor ’15 competed in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Sisson, one of the most decorated Friars of all-time, competed in the women’s 10,000-meter competition while Connor competed in the men’s marathon.

A lot of hard work and preparation went into both competitors’ journeys to the Olympics. Sisson, a resident of Phoenix, AZ, was a former All-American and NCAA Champion in Friartown.

In 2015, Sisson competed at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, OR where she became an NCAA Champion in the 5000-meter race with a time of 15:34.10. She then went on to do the same thing in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, AR where she won the 5000-meter race with a time of 15:32.15.

Sisson, now 29 years old, was also part of the Friar cross country team in 2013 which won the NCAA Championship.

After graduating in 2015, Sisson’s first major appearance was at the World Championships in London, United Kingdom in 2017. There she would race in the 10,000 meter race and finish 9th with a time of 31:26.36.

In the buildup to the Olympics, Sisson was required to race in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on June 26, 2021.

Sisson had originally entered the U.S. Olympic marathon trials and was the favorite in the event in Atlanta back in 2020. She would endthe race in heartbreak; after 22 miles she dropped out of the competition.

In a later interview, Sisson said “That really broke my heart. I went all in on that, and it really didn’t work out. I was very confused after.”

She would then race in the 10,000 meter event in Eugene, Oregon and won the race in an Olympic Trials record time of 31:03.82. After taking the lead in the fifth of 25 laps, Sisson never looked back and dominated the event in hot conditions.

Then came the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In an interview after the race, Sisson said her goal was to finish sixth to eighth in therace which would be her Olympic track debut.

In the end, she placed 10th in the event with a final time of 31:04.46.

Sisson is still coached by Friar head coach Ray Treacy who has continued to help athletes in his time. She and coach Treacy thought the start of the race may go out a little faster than it did and Treacy told Sisson to “go with the second pack and reel people in and win the race that you’re in.”

In the end, Sisson said “It was a grind, but I’m proud of my effort. Another learning experience.”

The second Providence alumni, Ben Connor, competed in the Men’s Marathon. Connor, from Derby, England had a successful four years in Friartown.

His senior year from 2014-15 would be his most complete year. In Cross Country, Connor placed eighth at the BIG EAST Championships with a time of 23.59.9. A couple of weeks later, he finished second at the NCAA Northeast Regionals with a time of 30:29.2 and collected an All-Regional honor.

At the NCAA Cross Country Championships that same season, Connor placed 30th with a time of 30:48.6 which earned him All-American honors. He would not compete in indoor or outdoor track in his final year as he did his sophomore and junior years.

Connor’s personal best records in his Providence stint was 8:12.18 in the 3,000 meter event, 14:08.11 in the 5,000 meter event, and 29:18.62 in the 10,000 meter event.

After graduating, Connor would head back to the United Kingdom to train and compete. Just like Sisson, Connor trained with coach Ray Treacy in the United States and in Manchester, United Kingdom. However, since 2019, Connor has self- coached.

In 2017, Connor would compete in the English National Cross Country Championships where he won the event. In 2019, Connor won the British Championships Night of 10K PBs event and the Podium 5k event. In 2020, he ran a half-marathon personal best time of 1:00:55 in Antrim where he finished third but was the fourth fastest half marathon time by a Briton.

Connor’s first marathon was the 2020 London Marathon. He finished the race as the second highest finishing Briton, at 10 seconds better than the Olympic qualifying time. He would finish 15th in the event.

In the 2021 British Athletics Marathon, Connor met the qualification time and finished second at the trial event to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics.


Editor’s Corner

by Joshua Lopes on May 6, 2021

Professional Sports

European Super League

Liam Tormey

Sports Editor

On April 18, the European soccer community was shaken to its core when it was announced that 12 of the biggest clubs in Europe would be breaking away to form the European Super League, ending the competitive structure of the game all for the pockets of 12 greedy owners.

Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Manchester United FC, Liverpool FC, Juventus FC, and seven more of the most well-known clubs in the world founded the Super League. Florentino Pérez, the president of Real Madrid, was due to be the chairman of the Super League, with owners from other clubs named vice-chairmen.

Talks of a European Super League have been rumored for decades. In theory, the top clubs across Europe would create a league in which they would compete against each other every week. Due to the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, these top clubs have been hit with large amounts of debt, giving the owners an excuse to finally propose this idea. 

Quickly following the news, UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, and many other domestic leagues, condemned the formation of the Super League, issuing a statement that if the clubs went through with this proposal, there would be major punishments.

Television pundits, fans, and even players and managers took to the press and social media to express their disgust at the proposal. A Sky Sports commentator, Gary Neville, who played for Manchester United for 19 seasons, labeled the formation of the league as an act of “pure greed.”

In the end, the proposal of the European Super League is an act of “Americanizing” the European game. European soccer is so unique because of the opportunity for any team to win it all. The promotion and relegation system across European soccer is not seen within American sports, and it allows for teams’ successes to be rewarded and teams’ failures to be punished. 

After the upheaval from fans, many within the Super League, most notably the English clubs, were the first to apologize to their fans and withdraw from the proposal just three days after the news broke on April 18.

The Super League responded by saying they will need to reshape the project, as they still believe it will enhance the experience of European soccer.

Fans across Europe, particularly in England, have continued to express their disapproval of their owner’s wishes. Large protests outside stadiums have occurred, and on May 2, Manchester United against Liverpool was canceled due to United fans storming Old Trafford in protest of their owners.

This fiasco has shown the power that soccer fans still have in shaping the game. As the famous saying across Europe goes, “Football is nothing without fans.”


Final Four Highlights

by Joshua Lopes on April 15, 2021


Men’s Final Four

By Leo Hainline ’22

Sports Staff

The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament featured one of the best Final Four games to ever be played when Gonzaga University defeated the University of California, Los Angeles. It then culminated with a worthy champion in Baylor University.

UCLA, an 11-seed that barely made the field of 68 and had to play in one of the first four games of the tournament, had been playing incredible basketball, knocking off both their region’s one-seed and two-seed during their journey to the Final Four. They brought that same energy and momentum into their matchup with Gonzaga and went back and forth with the Bulldogs all night. 

The game was filled with iconic moments. One of the best during regulation was when Jalen Suggs blocked Bruins big-man Cody Riley from behind, before immediately following with an incredible bounce pass that sliced through the UCLA defense to find teammate Drew Timme for a slam dunk. Another big moment was Timme’s charge that he drew on UCLA star Johnny Juzang when the Bruins had an opportunity to win the game. 

In overtime, Timme took over with unstoppable post-moves as the Bulldogs took a late five-point lead. However, the Bruins kept fighting and were able to tie the game thanks to a three-pointer from Jamie Jaquez Jr. and a put-back layup from Juzang. With three seconds left, Suggs received the inbounds pass, pushed the ball up the court, and pulled up to hit one of the most incredible shots in the history of March Madness.

 That is when the luck ran out for the Bulldogs, however, as they were thoroughly outplayed by Baylor in the national championship game. The Bears were automatic from behind the arc and were clearly the more aggressive team on both ends of the court. Led by guard Jared Butler, the Bears brought a level of intensity that the Bulldogs were unable to match. In the end, Baylor took home their program’s first-ever national championship.

 While this year’s tournament was undoubtedly a great one, the lack of fans in the arenas was a noticeable loss. The great moments, while still amazing to watch, could have been even more amazing with seats packed with people. Imagine: Gonzaga and UCLA playing in front of a packed Lucas Oil Stadium. Moments like that deserve to be watched in front of an audience, and hopefully, these special sporting events will soon begin to feel normal again with arenas and stadiums back at full capacity.

Women’s Final Four

By Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Assistant Editor

In a season unlike any other, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament was, unsurprisingly, full of excitement.

All but one of the number one seeds were able to make it through to the Final Four of the tournament. The number one seed in the Mercado region, North Carolina State University, was defeated by Indiana University in the Sweet Sixteen. The three remaining top seeds in Stanford University, University of South Carolina, and the University of Connecticut all secured a place in the Final Four, alongside the University of Arizona.

Led by the winningest coach in Division I women’s basketball history, Tara VanDerveer, Stanford rolled through their opponents before their Final Four matchup with South Carolina. Prior to then, Stanford had secured victories against Utah Valley University, Oklahoma State University, Missouri State University, and the University of Louisville. South Carolina took care of their work just like Stanford. After dominating Mercer University, Oregon State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and University of Texas at Austin, the Final Four matchup between South Carolina and Stanford was set.

In a game which came down to the wire, Stanford was able to survive a gritty South Carolina team 66-65. Haley Jones led Stanford with 24 points and hit the game-winning jump shot. With five seconds left, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston stole the ball and passed to Brea Beal. Beal missed a layup, but the ball fell back into Boston’s hand. However, her put-back also went off the back of the rim, giving Stanford the victory.

On the flip side of the bracket, UConn and Arizona met in the other semifinal matchup. Led by Paige Bueckers, the John R. Wooden Award winner, the Huskies were the likely favorite coming into the tournament. They steamed through the RiverWalk region, winning their first three games by 20 or more points before a close Elite Eight battle with Baylor University.

Arizona was the surprise of the tournament. Led by head coach Adia Barnes, Arizona made it through the Mercado region, upsetting Texas A&M University along the way.

When Arizona met UConn in the Final Four, the Wildcats gave them more than they could handle. Arizona pulled out a 69-59 victory, highlighted by Aari McDonald’s 26 points. A stunner of an upset, it ended the Huskies’ title hopes.

The championship game was everything one could have asked for, coming right down to the final seconds. Each team’s star player, including Stanford’s Haley Jones, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, and Arizona’s Aari McDonald, stepped up on the biggest stage. Down by one with seconds to go, Arizona had the chance to win their first title ever, but McDonald’s three hit off the front iron, giving Stanford their first championship since 1992 by a score of 54-53.

Sports Shorts

by Joshua Lopes on April 15, 2021


Sports Shorts Week of 4/8-4/15

By Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Assistant Editor

Men’s Lacrosse:

Over the weekend, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team hosted St. John’s University at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium in a Big East matchup. The Friars dominated the contest, winning by a score of 19-9. Matt Grillo ’22 and John Hoffman ’23 led the way for the Friars. Grillo finished the evening with five goals, putting his tally up to 20 for the year, while Hoffman was right behind him with four. Toby Burgdorf ’21 recorded 15 saves in the contest. The Friars are now 4-6 on the year and 3-5 in Big East play.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field:

Last Friday, the PC Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams competed at the Ocean State Invitational. For the men, AJ Ernst ’24 won the mile run with a time of 4:00.64, a facility record. Marcelo Rocha ’21 also set a facility record, in the 5,000-meter contest. Rocha won the race and finished with a time of 13:55.98. For the women, Abbey Wheeler ’21GS and Lilly Tuck ’23 won their respective races. Wheeler set a personal best and won the mile with a 4:41.93. Tuck set a personal best in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:24.11.

Swimming and Diving: 

The PC Swimming and Diving Teams competed in the Big East Championships in Geneva, Ohio. On the men’s side, Justin Viotto ’22 won the 200-yard butterfly event to secure the conference title. After being in third for the first 150 yards of the event, Viotto used the last 50 yards to claim a victory by one one-hundredth of a second with a time of 1:48.23. Kevin Hood ’23 also won a title, winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 55.52. On the women’s side, Sally Alrutz ’23 recorded a personal record in the 100-yard backstroke at 55.91, finishing fifth. Overall, the women’s team came in fifth while the men secured fourth to wrap up the season.

Women’s Soccer:

To finish out the regular season of Big East play, the PC Women’s Soccer Team traveled to Queens, New York to face St. John’s University. After being down 1-0 going into halftime, the Friars were awarded a penalty shot with just 10 minutes left to play. Christina Rodgers ’21 stepped up to the spot and recorded her first goal of the season to level the Friars at one. The game went into overtime, during which neither team would score, and the game concluded in a 1-1 draw. The Friars finish the regular season 7-2-3 overall and 5-2-3 in Big East play.

PCI: Who Will Win the Big East Men’s Tournament?

by Joshua Lopes on March 4, 2021


Providence College Investigates: College Basketball

Creighton University Will End Villanova’s Reign

By Jack Belanger ’21

Sports Co-Editor

After three straight Big East titles, Villanova University will likely be the favorites once again to be conference champions. If any team is going to end the Wildcats’ reign, it is going to be coach Greg McDermott’s Creighton University Bluejays. Outside the Wildcats, Creighton has the best combination of versatility and experience to make a deep run in the tournament.

The Bluejays are one of the most complete teams in the conference. The team has five players averaging over 10 points per game, led by Marcus Zegarowski, who is averaging 14.9 points a game. Center Christian Bishop leads the entire Big East in field goal percentage, shooting 70 percent.

Creighton’s team defense has played a huge factor in their success. Teams are shooting less than 40 percent against them as well as averaging 68.4 points per game. With all five starters standing between six-feet-two-inches and six-feet-seven-inches, the Bluejays rarely get caught in a mismatch. Where they lack in size they make up for in athleticism.

While they only average three blocks per game, Creighton is second in the Big East in steals, with 7.3 per game. The team does have one shot blocker in seven-foot center Ryan Kalkbrenner who can come off the bench when the team needs to protect the paint. 

The Bluejays are one of the few teams that match up well against the Wildcats. In their first meeting of the season, Creighton won 86-70 with 25 points from Zegarowski. The team was hot from the three-point line, knocking down 46.2 percent of their shots. It was Villanova’s biggest loss of the season.

With five losses in the Big East, Creighton is far from a perfect team. They split their season series with Providence College thanks to center Nate Watson ’21 dominating the paint and a bad day behind the arc. While anything can happen in the tournament, what works in the favor of the Bluejays is they have an experienced team that is used to playing under pressure.

All of Creighton’s starters are juniors or seniors with experience playing in the Big East Tournament. With the cancelation of last year’s tournament, teams with freshmen and sophomores could be prone to mistakes when the game is on the line.

Even if they are not making shots, Creighton is one of the more disciplined teams in the conference. With the third best turnover margin, the Bluejays know how to protect the ball as well as create opportunities for themselves.

Everyone will be aiming to take down Villanova and end their reign as champs. Creighton is in second place for a reason. They can match up with the Wildcats better than anyone else and cover up their own flaws. After three straight titles, Villanova’s run will end thanks to the Bluejays.

Villanova Will Win Their Fourth Straight

By Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Assistant Editor

Villanova University has won the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament four times in the last six years. This year, once again, the Wildcats will win the Big East tournament.

Currently one of the best teams in the country, as they sit at the top of the Big East standings, the Wildcats’ offensive firepower is going to carry them to a title. First things first: all of Villanova’s starting five is averaging double-digit figures. That five includes the reliable Collin Gillespie, alongside Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Justin Moore, Jermaine Samuels, and Caleb Daniels. Any player in the group has the firepower to take over a game, and that will be crucial come tournament time.

Gillespie, a battle-tested senior, has done it all in his time at Villanova and will be a major reason why the Wildcats will come away with another Big East title. This season, Gillespie is averaging 14.4 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. A part of the 2018 Villanova National Championship team, Gillespie’s leadership will continue to be infinitely valuable to the team when they enter Madison Square Garden in March.

Sophomore Robinson-Earl has continued to show all year why he was ranked as an elite prospect coming out of high school. He is the Wildcats’ leading scorer this season with 15.5 points per game to go along with 7.9 rebounds. His season high this year was a 28-point game against Arizona State, but he has proven to have the ability to put up consistent numbers every game.

Another sophomore, Moore, has also provided solid scoring for the Wildcats. Averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds, Moore is a two-way guard who has continued to improve his game since arriving at Villanova.

Samuels and Daniels finish out one of the most complete starting fives in college basketball. Samuels, the 6-foot-7-inch senior, has shown his capability all year long. Averaging 11.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds, Samuels can put up big numbers, especially after his 32-point performance in early February against Georgetown University. Daniels adds another 10.6 points per game for the Wildcats, rounding out the starting five.  

The Wildcats do not have a deep roster of guys coming off the bench, but the capable play of players such as Cole Swider and Brandon Slater will be beneficial come tournament time.

Let us not forget about how great of a coach Jay Wright is, too. In his 20th year as the head coach of Villanova, Wright has won the Big East tournament four times, has been to the Final Four three times, and has won a National Championship twice. There is no question he will have his guys ready to play in the tournament, no matter who they come up against.


PCI: Where Will QB Deshaun Watson End Up?

by Joshua Lopes on February 25, 2021


Providence College Investigates: The NFL

Hopefully, The New York Jets

By Ryan Carius ’21

Sports Staff

Upon the completion of the Super Bowl, football fanatics have turned to trade rumors, the impending free agency period, and the NFL draft for sources of entertainment. On top of the list of trade rumors is Deshaun Watson, quarterback for the Houston Texans.

Although the Texans front office keeps downplaying rumors of a trade, Watson wants to depart after four years in Houston. Multiple NFL teams have expressed interest in trading for Watson, leaving fans on the edge of their seats wondering where the superstar will end up.

Any potential return for Watson in a trade will feature a tremendous haul of draft picks and possibly even players. In particular, the New York Jets are a very realistic buyer in the Watson sweepstakes. The Jets have an excess of draft picks, most notably the second overall draft pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets also hold the 23rd overall pick, a pick acquired from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams. These two picks will almost surely be included if the Jets have any hopes of acquiring the superstar quarterback. 

Another factor working in the Jets’ favor is the possibility of a Sam Darnold trade. It seems very likely that the Jets will draft or trade for another quarterback and settle for a second-round draft pick in exchange for Darnold, the former third-overall pick in the 2018 draft. With an additional draft pick received for Darnold, Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas would gain another pick that could be flipped for Watson.

Jets fans would certainly find it reassuring to acquire Watson via trade instead of drafting either Zach Wilson from Brigham Young University or Justin Fields from Ohio State University. It is almost certain that Trevor Lawrence of Clemson University will be off the board with the first overall pick. Lawrence, without question, would have been the best quarterback to draft if New York had the first pick. Now, with the second pick, the Jets’ office is in a similar situation as they were when they took Darnold in 2018.

While it would be unfair to rule out the possibility of Wilson or Fields becoming stars in the NFL one day, if the Jets have the chance to obtain Watson, they should not hesitate. Another factor to add to the uncertainty of the rookie quarterbacks is the cancelation of the NFL combine. General managers will not have the ability to assess potential draft picks, instead relying on their college film.

The Jets cannot afford to miss out on acquiring a culture-changing quarterback like Watson. If the Texans call, the Jets need to pick up the phone and get the deal done.

Ignore the Noise: Houston

By Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Assistant Editor

The Houston Texans traded away star receiver DeAndre Hopkins last season to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson, as well as a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick. Long-time defensive cornerstone J.J. Watt recently asked to be released. Indeed, the Texans are in disarray, but they simply cannot afford to trade Deshaun Watson.

The franchise quarterback wants out of Houston and has said he does not want to play another snap for the organization. After he was not involved in the hiring of new general manager Nick Caserio, and after the Texans failed to hire Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as head coach, Watson was frustrated.

Although a trade seems likely, there is strong reason to believe that Watson may still be part of the Texans organization when the season starts. After an interview with Caserio at the end of January,, Caserio stated, “We have zero interest in trading the player.”

Watson, who has a career 28-25 record with a 67.8 percent completion percentage, 104 touchdowns, 36 interceptions, and 269.2 yards per game, may not have much of a choice even if he wants out of Houston.

Over the course of recent years, it has become common for players within the NBA to ask for trades, putting their respective organizations in a difficult position. This phenomenon now blended over to the NFL, as is seen in the case of Watson and other star players recently like Jalen Ramsey and Antonio Brown.

However, it should not be this easy for players to demand a trade away from a team. Watson’s personal unhappiness should not require the Texans to trade him. He is still a part of the organization, and the Texans must do everything they can to keep such a talent.

In light of Houston’s salary cap situation, trading Deshaun Watson would most likely mean having to absorb $21.6 million in dead money over the course of the next several years, putting the Texans well over the cap limit. Of course, the Texans can restructure the rest of their roster, but trading Watson would put them at a major financial disadvantage.

Houston does have leverage over Watson. According to sports writer Adam Schefter, the Texans can fine Watson $95,877 for missing minicamp, $50,000 per day of training camp missed plus one week’s salary, and $620,000 for each preseason game missed. Finally, the Texans can collect the $21.6 million if Watson retires.

Yes, Deshaun Watson wants out of Houston, but no player is bigger than the organization itself. The Houston Texans need to make the right decision and not trade their superstar quarterback.