Friar Basketball

Friars Pick Up Critical Road Win at Texas

PC at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart spent what felt like half of his 25 minute media session this week answering questions about his team’s inconsistent outside shooting. The Longhorns entered Friday night’s tilt with Providence shooting under 33% from deep on the season, but had shot at a much better clip the last two times out.

They certainly didn’t help those numbers in a 71-65 loss to the Friars. Texas shot 6-24 from long range on Friday night, just 3-14 in the second half, while Providence was more than up for the physical challenge Texas presented.

Texas shooting woes aside, Providence was simply the better team on Friday night.

The Friars held the lengthy, athletic Longhorns off of the glass (PC won the rebounding battle, 38-32), got critical contributions from veterans, and led by as many as 13 in the first half.

Alpha Diallo led the Friars with 20 points (taking 14 foul shots on the night), Isaiah Jackson made a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and a difficult fadeaway in the second to keep Texas at bay, while Kalif Young was a team high +13 while grabbing eight boards. No one else on Providence was more than a +6. Maliek White carried the offense in the first half, and finished the night with nine points and five assists.

When Texas pushed, Providence pushed back. Most notably, after the Longhorns cut PC’s lead to 51-50 with just under 12 minutes to go in the second half.

Providence responded by finding freshman Jimmy Nichols on a backdoor cut out of a timeout. Texas freshman Kamaka Hepa got a good look at a corner 3 on the next possession, and missed, but it was a shot the Friars would live with. The 6’9 frosh is just 6-22 from deep this year.

The next trip down the floor Diallo scored and was fouled off of a pin down, and the lead that seemed to be slipping away was bumped back to five.

PC never trailed in this game. They outscored UT in the paint (32-30), on the break (8-7), and off of the bench (28-27).

Both Providence and Texas were down their most lethal scorers. Friar freshman AJ Reeves is in the midst of a 4-6 week span away from the floor after injurying his foot, while Kerwin Roach, Texas’ leading scorer, sat with a stomach ailment.

A senior, Roach has proven to be a big game performer of sorts, scoring 32 points in Texas’s win over North Carolina last month and 26 in a narrow loss to Nevada in last March’s NCAA tournament. He’s also proven to be a player who can shoot Texas out of games, having gone 2-12 in a loss to Radford and 1-11 in another loss to VCU this year.

Ed Cooley has to be thrilled with the way his team has rallied in the wake of Reeves’ injury. White has been terrific the last three games, and on Friday night nine different Friars scored.

Cooley has also gotten a big lift from Makai Ashton-Langford. The sophomore point guard’s stat line doesn’t do his impact on Friday night justice. After a solid first half, Cooley did not go to Ashton-Langford in the second half until starting point guard David Duke picked up his fourth foul with just over ten minutes left.

Ashton-Langford (5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist) was generally effective in breaking Texas’s fullcourt press. He may have hit the biggest shot of the second half, knocking down a 3-pointer at the top of the key with 6:20 on the clock to push PC ahead, 60-52.

On the next possession he found Jackson at the free throw line for a jump shot that put Providence up 10. It was his only assist of the game, but he could have had 2-3 more. With PC ahead 55-50 he found Young for a wide open 10 footer that missed, then he located Diallo at the top of the key for a great look at a 3. A few moments later, it looked as though Ashton-Langford found Nate Watson for a look at the rim, but the pass was fumbled away.

Regardless, it’s fair to wonder if Cooley had planned on bringing Ashton-Langford back in the game had Duke not gotten into foul trouble, but Cooley stuck with him for virtually all of the final ten minutes.

This is a potential character-building win for the Friars — on the road, days before Christmas, down their most potent scorer, and seemingly ready to crack midway through the second half — but they grinded their way to the road win this team desperately needed to close the non-conference portion of the schedule at 10-3.

Providence now has 10 days off until their Big East opener on 12/31 at the Dunkin Donuts Center against Creighton.

Twitter: @Kevin_Farrahar





  1. Derec Lamendola

    December 22, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Cradlagutions TO Makai Ashton Langford Good Win Tonight And Great Team Ed Cooley Don’t For Get MY Birthday iS Tommmerrrow And Becuaee iS December 22 And Don’t For Get TO Treet Tommerrrrow Ed Cooley BIG Day Tommerrrow And Derec Lamendola Birthday iS Tommerrrrow December 22 And Becuaee IS Saturday And
    Becusee IS My Birthday All Redey Derec Lamendola Birthday iS All Redey Hear All Redey And Bscusee Tonight I Celebrating The BIG Win Tonight Over Texias Austin And Bscusee Providence. College Men’s Basketball Has The 10 Th Win Tonight For Derec Lamendola Birthday Don’t For Get My Birthday Ed Colley And Makai Ashton Domt For Get MY Birthday TO Has Well Makai Ashton Langford I’m Am Redey I’m Am Celebrating My Birthday Tommerow

  2. Derec Lamendola

    December 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Providence College Men’s Baaketball Providence College Men’s Basketball Friar Baaketball,Are You Redey For
    Derec Lamemdola Birthday Today iS The Day And Today iS MY Birthday Cradlagutions To Ed Cooley On The Road Games For MY Birthday And Becusee We Need To Do Something And Get Makai Ashton Langford Do Something This BIG East Games Now This Now Isisiah Jacksion Last Time In The Ferking BIG East Conference The
    King OF The Boards And Derec Lamemdola Shrd Get King OF The Boards For MY Birthday Today And Are You

    Redey For This Conferntis Games And Becuaee Makai Ashton Langfrod Has To Do Something In The BIG East BIG East Conference Games And Becuaee Some One Has To Start And Becuaee Makai Ashton Langfrod Today iS MY Birthday And Becusee IS The BIG 28 Becuaee And I’m Am Redey For The Conference Games And Becusee I’m Am Redey For This BIG Day Today And Becuaee I’m Am Bone Redey For This Year And I’m Am Redey For This Conferntis This Year The Seoasn Tickies IS Holders iS NOT Hear Yet And Becusee Don’t Woere About Next Year Yet And Jus Woere About The Fusher And Derec Lamendola Birthday And 1 Day In The Time And So Makai Ashton Langford Beddter Start Playing In The BIG East Conference Games Now We Need Makai Ashton Langfrod And Emmitt Holt TO Has Well And Emmitt Holt Has To Come Back And Becusee We Need Emmitt Holt To Come Back And Do Some Wight Lift And Get Moving For The BIG East Conference Makai Ashton Langfrod Today iS MY Birthday

  3. Jack Marshall

    December 23, 2018 at 12:28 am

    To Whom It May Concern,
    In the event you missed the previous Posts, I’d like to wish a warm Aloha and Happy Birthday to the Friars Number 1 Fan, Derec Lamendola. See you in Feb for the annual Football Reunion.

  4. John Champeau

    December 23, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Happy birthday Derec!!! Number 1 Friar fan ever!!!!! Looking forward to seeing you, your Dad and your uncle at the football reunion in Feb!,, GO FRIARS!

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