Friar Basketball

Impressive Friars Roll in Season Opener

Diallo White Uni

Providence was virtually flawless in its season opener on Tuesday night.

Paced by 19 points and 14 rebounds by senior Alpha Diallo, and sparked by the return of Emmitt Holt and the debut of Luwane Pipkins, the Friars looked explosive offensively and active on the defensive end in a 106-60 victory over Sacred Heart.

The positives were plentiful in this one. Diallo was seemingly everywhere on both ends of the court, adding four blocked shots and two steals to a fat offensive stat line. Holt scored 16 points in 21 minutes of action, burying both 3-pointers he attempted and making 5-7 from the field and 4-5 at the free throw line.

Pipkins was the pace-setter, as he scored 11 points and dished out five assists in the first half before finishing the night with 13 points, seven assists, four rebounds, three steals, and zero turnovers.

The Friars played at a breakneck pace, and scored an insane 1.413 points per possession (to put that number into perspective, Gonzaga led the country last year at 1.076 ppp and the Friars averaged .875). Pipkins, Diallo and Holt combined for eight 3-pointers in the first half, as PC finished with 16 threes on the night.

Providence was particularly potent in the first half, scoring 59 points in the opening stanza. They hit 10-20 from beyond the 3-pointer arc and 7-8 at the free throw line through 20 minutes.

Sophomore David Duke was active early, with six assist and five rebounds before halftime. Duke finished the night with a relatively easy 11 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. He played 28 minutes without a turnover and made the only 3-pointer he attempted.

Fellow sophomore AJ Reeves connected on 6-10 shots from the field, including 3-6 from deep en route to 15 points, while Kalif Young (10) and Maliek White (10) both reached double figures in scoring as well.

Also impressive was freshman Greg Gantt, who made all three of his field goal attempts in the first half, including a top of the key 3-pointer. Gantt had missed most of the preseason with an achilles injury.

Providence shot 51% from the field, 47% from 3, and 75% at the free throw line, while holding Sacred Heart to 32% shooting. PC turned the ball over just eight times, and conversely, scored 30 points off of 19 Sacred Heart turnovers.

The 106 points set a new high for the Friars under Ed Cooley. Providence finished with 31 assists and 38 bench points on the night.

Beyond the numbers, the marked difference on this opening night was the energy of the Friars. Providence’s guards pressured the ball effectively on defense and they played at a much faster pace offensively.

At one point Pipkins floated an alley oop pass to White, who finished an acrobatic layup. Teammates rushed Pipkins and White after Sacred Heart called a timeout out, and there seemed to be genuine joy on the floor — the type of joy we rarely saw last season.

Providence played at a different pace an intensity level and were beyond impressive on opening night.

2 Comments

  1. Wally

    November 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Awesome Intro and great crowd!!! Friars were much faster and much more cohesive than last year!! Great night for the Friars and fans!!! GO FRIARS!!

  2. John A Capaldi

    November 6, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Just checking in on my Friars !! Providence born and raised…
    Now residing in Scottsdale Arizona..
    Have a GREAT YEAR !!

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