After an atrocious loss on Saturday night at the Dunk, the Friars regrouped and were able to knockoff #19 Connecticut by a score of 81 to 66. After falling down by as much as ten in the first half, the Friars were able to rally and went into the locker room leading by one. The second half was close and the teams exchanged leads at one time, but Providence built upon their half time lead and stretch things out to as much as 18 at one time. The Friars were led in scoring by Greedy Peterson who netted 23 points in yet another double double performance. Bilal Dixon also had a double double and after scoring no points in the first half Sharuad Curry tallied 18 in the second. UConn had two players score 17 in Gavin Edwards and Kemba Walker. Walker played an outstanding game, but senior leader Jerome Dyson was not much of a factor. With the loss UConn drops to 3-4 in the BIG EAST. They will next take on Marquette. With the win the Friars improve to 4-4 in league play and will travel out to Ohio to play Cincinnati in their next contest.
Going into this game we weren’t expecting too much, especially after what happened against USF on Saturday. In the pregame we asked that we just see inspired basketball. That meant hitting the boards like never before, beating UConn on every hustle play, not taking a single play off, and most importantly an intensity on defense unlike anything we have seen from our guys this year. We are happy to say that we got it! By no means did we shoot the ball particularly well, but it turns out when you play defense and do the other small things you don’t always have to… how about that.
For people who were at the game, the environment was great. It has been slow going this year so far, but the students came out for the big game and had a positive impact. There are few things better than Greedy throwing down a put back on a PC run and having UConn call a 30 second time out, which happens to be just enough time to Fist Pump Jersey Shore Style to Sandstorm. Speaking of Jersey shore, the large head cut-outs of Snooki and Pauly D. could have only helped our cause. We also enjoyed the Tiger Woods head.
Back to the game though. You look at UConn and no doubt about it they are intimidating. They have great height and athleticism, and have NBA talent in Dyson, Walker, and Robinson. But that never deterred the Friars. Even with the height difference Providence played well inside. In the first half it seemed like we were more likely to get out shots blocked by Ater Majok than to get any sort of rebound, but in the second half we owned the boards. We wound up out-rebounding the Huskies 46 to 35 and pulled down 17 offensive boards in the process. Hats off to Greedy and Bilal… and VC for taking control of the glass.
We also saw some defensive intensity. Sure we got beat down the court a few many times. Or gave up way too easy alley-oops, and maybe were caught a little out of position on small plays, or looked flat just a few times, but those were the exceptions this game which is a good thing. There was such a noticeable change in the intensity and the effort the team put forth. It was just great to see. We blew it against USF, no doubt about it, but we responded as good as we possibly could have. And that was great to see, and says a lot about this young team and Coach Keno. And we aren’t so sure we would have beat UConn had we not lost to USF. Maybe not though.
But it was a great game to watch, especially because we won, and it was a great atmosphere. The team showed resilience and it is always nice to beat our neighbors in UConn. This makes it four out of the last five or something like that. We don’t know what it is, but we just play well against them. Maybe Providence really is the bain of UConn athletics. Probably not, but its always nice to beat them on a consistent basis.
PFB Player of the Game: Greedy Peterson- We know VC had a great game. No doubt about it. And we know people are getting numb to Greedy’s double doubles. But we liked Greedy in this game for a few reasons. His work on the boards was essential. 14 rebounds is huge. And his timing in this game was great. He got something done when we needed. Whether it be is first half semi-dunk when fans had nothing to cheer about, or his timely three when we were down, or his monster follow on a fast break miss that sent the crowd into an eruption as UConn had to call a time out, or retrieving a Curry air ball to put it in for a dunk, Greedy came up big. Greedy is exciting and gets the fans into the game, which can not be underestimated. We are taking nothing away from VC, who filled up the stat sheet with seven rebounds, eight assists, and four steals (he did have 5 turnovers). Greedy beat or tied him in most statistics and only had one turnover, but the way VC pushed up the ball and looked in control out there was great. But we thought Greedy with his 23 points, 14 points, three assists, and four steals was the key… but this is the closest we have come to giving a co-player of the game.
UConn Huskies Basketball Blog