Friars Beat UConn in Dan Hurley, Tyrese Martin’s Return to Rhode Island

Playing for the first time since March 9, 2013, the Providence College men’s basketball team defeated the UConn Huskies, 70-59, on Wednesday, February 10 in Alumni Hall at Providence College. It marked the first game between the two long-time New England rivals as UConn rejoined the BIG EAST this season. With the win, the Friars moved to 10-10 overall and 6-8 in BIG EAST play. This marked the first win against the Huskies since February 28, 2012 when the Friars won 72-70 in Providence. Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) and David Duke (Providence, R.I.) led the way in scoring for the Friars with 17 points each. Noah Horchler (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) led the team in rebounds with 10.

At the 18:51 mark, Ed Croswell (Philadelphia, Pa.) finished a second-chance layup to put the Friars in the scoring column. Two minutes later, Watson scored to put the Friars ahead early. Providence led at the first media timeout, 4-2.

With 11:34 left in the half, UConn’s Isaiah Whaley made a layup to cap off an 8-0 scoring run. The Friars answered with three-pointers by Duke and Kris Monroe (Raleigh, N.C.) on back-to-back possessions. The Friars held a 19-16 lead.

At the 7:09 mark, A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) knocked down a three-pointer from the right corner. On the ensuing possession, UConn’s Tyrese Martin matched it with a three of his own. The Friars held a three-point advantage, 24-21, entering the 6:25 timeout.

Providence found a spark in the moments before the final first half media timeout. At the 4:22 mark, Croswell blocked a shot and Duke dunked it in transition. Shortly after, Reeves added another three-pointer. The Friars led 31-27 and were in the midst of a 7-0 scoring run.

The Huskies led at halftime, 34-33. Providence shot 12-27 (44.4%) from the field, 4-10 (40.0%) from three, and 5-7 (71.4%) from the free throw line. UConn shot 14-32 (43.8%) from the field, 4-10 (40.0%) from three, and 2-5 (40.0%) from the free throw line.

Duke opened the second half on a hot streak. He made a mid-range jumper at the 19:07 mark for the first Friars points of the second half. Next, he added a three-pointer at the top of the key and made a contested layup. A steal and score by Breed completed a 9-2 Friars run. With 16:46 left, the Huskies trailed 42-38 and used a timeout.

With 14:11 remaining, Horchler converted from three-point territory for the first time in the game. By the 12:29 mark, the Friars had extended their lead to nine, the largest by either team to that point. The score was 51-42.

Two made free throws by Breed gave the Friars a double-digit lead, 55-44, with 9:49 to play. In response, the Huskies tightened up defensively and narrowed the gap back down to six. At the 7:45 media timeout, the Friars led 55-49.

With 4:28 remaining, UConn’s Isaiah Whaley dunked it. Leading up to that basket, the Huskies had gotten defensive stops, but had struggled to capitalize on the offensive end. The Providence lead was cut to 58-53.

Inside the three-minute mark, the Friars scored on three consecutive possessions and forced a Huskies timeout with 1:43 to go. Providence’s lead was nine points, 64-55. The Friars were able to close out the game from the free throw line in the final minute.

Providence finished 23-53 (43.4%) from the field, 6-17 (35.3%) from three, and 18-27 (66.7%) from the free throw line. UConn finished 25-62 (40.3%) from the field, 4-20 (20.0%) from three, and 5-9 (55.6%) from the free throw line. R.J. Cole led the way for the Huskies with 14 points.

Three players finished in double-figures for the Friars, in Reeves, Duke, and Watson. The Friars did not surrender a three-pointer to the Huskies in the second half. The Friars also outrebounded the Huskies by five.

Up next, the Friars head to Chicago, Ill. to take on the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday, February 13. The game is set for tip-off at 8 p.m. and is televised on FS1.

Categories: Sports