Friar Basketball

Watson Returns, Pipkins Shines in Win Over Merrimack

Nate Watson dunking

Ed Cooley called Luwane Pipkins after Providence’s win over St. Peter’s on Saturday with a simple message: “I said,‘hey, you have to be the person we brought you here to be. I need you to be aggressive. I need you to be assertive. I need you to play the way you played against us for three years. If you do that you’re going to be a hell of a player.'”

The call came just before midnight, but Pipkins said he wasn’t asleep, he was watching the Disney Channel (“That’s So Raven” for the record).

This was the first of two light-hearted moments from Pipkins in the media room after PC’s 93-56 win over Merrimack on Tuesday night. He closed the presser by asking if players get free chicken sandwiches as well — alluding to the increasingly popular promotion the school is running in which fans get a free Chick-fil-A sandwich if an opposing player misses both shots at the foul line in the second half (Friar fans can thank Merrimack’s Juvaris Hayes for obliging).

Pipkins had struggled to find his jump shot in the three games following an impressive season opener, but he was the best player on the floor on Tuesday, scoring 18 points on 5-8 shooting from the field, 2-4 from three, and 5-5 at the free throw line, while adding eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals.

“I was surprised he called me,” said Pipkins. “It was 11:30, 12 o’clock. He just told me what he had to say, I understood, took it in, I thought about it, and I put it all together and played well tonight.”

Pipkins also dished out one final assist after the game. Unprompted, he shared, “That run we picked up in the first half came off of Nate’s intensity. Once he started making baskets we picked it up and we started playing to our identity.”

The Friars needed a lift early.

After a pair of lackluster showings on the offensive end last week, PC trailed 22-10 at the 7:45 mark of the first half against Merrimack. They were shooting 3-15 from the field, 0-5 from deep, and leading scorer Alpha Diallo had four early turnovers.

Cooley explained that neither Diallo (flu) or AJ Reeves (back spasms) had practiced of late, and despite a brief cameo in the closing seconds of the first half, Diallo was a spectator for the final 25 minutes of this one.

Providence ripped off a 14-0 run in the first half, sparked by fullcourt pressure defense and the interior duo of Watson and Emmitt Holt. Holt scored seven points during the spurt and from that point on Providence dominated.

PC scored 28 points in the final 7:43 of the first half, with Watson making three of his four attempts from the field, while Pipkins made 4-7, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“I was tired. I’m not going to lie, but it was great to be out on the court playing in front of the fans and playing for coach again,” Watson said afterwards.

Watson’s physicality was immediately apparent, despite this being his first game back from a sprained knee. He finished 6-7 from the field (but just 2-9 at the free throw line), and alleviated some concerns about the condition of his knee when he threw down a loud dunk off of a Pipkins lob.

On the night Providence made nearly 55% of its shots from the field and connected on 8-17 from deep (47%). Holt’s 11 points and 10 rebounds were good for his first double double in nearly three years.

Perhaps most significantly, picking up fullcourt and the return of Watson seemed to invigorate a group that looked on its way to playing a third straight subpar shooting night. Their pressure defense turned Merrimack over and ignited their offense in the process. Maliek White (14), Kalif Young (13), and David Duke (10) all joined Watson, Pipkins, and Holt in double figure scoring.

Twitter: Kevin_Farrahar


  1. Derec Lamendola

    November 20, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Weoclme back Nate Waston welcomr Back and He is Unbelievable tonight and i will see Nate Waston on Saturdsy Night at 4:00 and Derec Lamendola is on Youtbe tonight and i wont see it And Cradglations to MY Man Nate Waston and Good Game Nate waston and see you On Saturday

    Providnece College Mens Basketball The Starting Line UP For The PC Mens Basketball and i Think iS be

    Nate Waston Junior
    Emmitt Holt Graduated Stuent
    Kalif Young Senior
    Alpha Dallio Senior
    Greg Gannt Ferahmin
    Jimmy Nichols Sophomore
    Maliek Wight Senor
    Luwance pipkins Graduate
    AJ Reeves Sophomore
    Kris Monroe Sophomore
    We All Back to Numal Now and Unbelievable And we Need Nate Waston to Be Back The All Seoasn Long and We Need Him back and Good Game i so tonight Nate Waston Cradglations tonight and Unbelievable and good win and proviednece college Mens Basketball is Going Pack.The Dunk This Weekend this Saturday Starting This Saturday and we are going Rocking the Dunk this Saturday night at 4

    Providnece College Mens Basketball has to be Reday for thks saturday and we have to win this weekend and Unbelievable win i so and good game and i Gree Has Ed Cooley Sed Jus now and were is The Providnece College Mens Basketball On Youtbe and i wont to See it and whos Reday for this weekend every one and

    I didnt See Every one tonjght and becueee i wont Every one pack.the Dunk on Saturday and to Be A Full.House on Saturday and Becuaee we Need The Full house on Saturday the Peen State Peenvana on Saturday and thats who we Playing And Greg Gannitt im am Sover for your Family and im am Sad and i am.going toSay Sover for Greg Gantt Lost and

    Welcome back Nate Waston and Cradglations and Derec Lamendola was on the Jumbrotrun ugen 2 Times in Row and i wont GO In That Locker Room give the iedpesch so have.good Wdensday Every see you All On Saturday and Nate Waston Cradglations to You MY Best Bouther Nate Waston is my Bouther

  2. MercuryHg poisoned

    November 20, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    PC 37 freethrows to 11 for Merrimack…a bad joke of Big East officiating again. FIX.

  3. Derec Lamendola

    November 21, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Providence College Mens Basketball Frisrs Mens Basketball i got something to Say and i think that
    Providnece college mens Basketball in the TOP 10 and we have to see Frist and is long seossn so lets jus worie about Right now if the Providence College Mens Basketball dus Not GO To The Madsion Square Garden And we will be Going Some were so well see and Providece Mens Basketball has to Win The BIG Esst Frist this All Seoasn and thery Will be going to The TOP 10 so well see happens you know i meeen and

    Providence College Mens Basketball Frisrs Mens Basketball mens Basketball is good and i Tell ha this thery are looking good this Year so that Meens thery Shrd Be Good if thery are in the TOP 10 In the Country that will that wil be Unbelievable you know I Meeen i will see you All on saturday 4:00 and i wont Be Full.House we wont see them Next week thery going to Calfoina for the Thinksging tournament so lets get the Saturday and i wont Ed Coooley On TV Chanel 6 Channel 12 Chanel 10 News WJAR see you Saturday

  4. Derec Lamendola

    November 22, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Hi Every one i wont the Providence College Mens Basketball to get All Jamed UP This weekend this Saturday and We Need Ed Cooley be back on Tv Ugen i did see it i wont Providence College Mens Basketball be on the TV With Ed Coooley let Jaming UP This Saturday Full.Jamied House

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