Providence College Slams Fairfield in “Home Opener”

Thursday, November 26, 2020

 

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Nate Watson, double-double in PC's win PHOTO: PC, Ryan Feeney

Welcome to the coronavirus 2020. The games are back, the gym was old school and everyone is praying that teams can avoid infections.

Providence College men's basketball team ran up and down the court and slammed Fairfield University, 97-56, on Wednesday.

"It felt great to be out there," Head Coach Ed Cooley said. "I am so glad we were able to get a game in. I was really proud of how we performed."

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The game was the first at  Alumni Hall at Providence College since a make up wet floor game from the Dunk had to be played at the historic gym.

PC center Nate Watson  completed a double-double with a career-high  23 points and 10 rebounds. 

Providence finished last season 19-12 and 12-6 in the conference. The Friars were on a six game winning streak when the season ended.

After one game, the Friars look big strong, fast and deep — after one game.

"I just felt better as a person and as a player on the court," Watson said. "I am in much better shape than I was last year coming off an injury."

The Friars led at halftime, 41-29. Providence shot 16-38 (42.1%) from the field, 4-12 (33.3%) from three, and 5-9 (55.6%) from the free throw line. Fairfield shot 12-26 (46.2%) from the field, 1-6 (16.7%) from three, and 4-4 (100.0%) from the free throw line.

It was a run away all second half for the Friars.

At the final media timeout, the Friars led 86-47. Providence had made three of their last four shots from beyond the arc. Brycen Goodine, the former St. Andrews star threw down a highlight dunk to close out the game. 

Providence finished 34-70 (48.6%) from the field, 7-16 (43.8%) from three, and 22-29 (75.9%) from the free throw line. Fairfield finished 19-51 (37.3%) from the field, 2-15 (13.3%) from three, and 16-24 (66.7%) from the free throw line. Taj Benning and Jalen Leach led the way in scoring for the Stags with 10 points each.

The Friars forced eight more turnovers and 14 more points off turnovers than Fairfield. The Friars also dominated the glass with 44 rebounds while Fairfield had 30.  

The Friars finished with five players in double-figures. Providence consistently shared the ball with 21 assists compared to the Stags' six. Junior guards, David Duke and A.J. Reeves, scored 18 and 14 points, respectively, to go along with Watson's career-high in scoring. Noah Horchler  and Ed Croswell finished with 11 and 10 points in their Friar debut. Bynum finished with a team-high eight assists. 

Up next, Providence will head to Asheville, N.C. to compete in the Maui Invitational from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. The Friars will take on Indiana in the first round on Monday, November 30 at 2:30 p.m on ESPN2.

Friars Picked 3 of the 11 Teams In Preseason BIG EAST Coaches' Poll: It was announced on October 28 during the BIG EAST Virtual Media Day that the Friars were selected to finish third of 11 in teams in the Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Friars, who return three starters from last season, finished 2019-20 with a 19-12 overall mark and a team record 12 wins in BIG EAST play. The Friars entered the 2020 BIG EAST Tournament as hot as any team in the country. The team had won six straight and eight of 10 games to close the regular season with a NET ranking of 37. The squad finished fourth in league standings and was set to play fifth-seeded Butler on March 12 in the BIG EAST Tournament. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the BIG EAST and NCAA Tournaments were cancelled. The Friars were projected to be a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Duke And Watson Earn BIG EAST Preseason Honors: It was announced on October 28 that junior guard David Duke (Providence, R.I.) and senior center Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) were named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Teams. Duke was named to the First Team and Watson earned Second Team honors. Duke had a strong sophomore season as he improved in each significant statistical category from his freshman season. His points per game improved from 7.1 in 2019 to 12.0 in 2020. His rebounding also improved from 2.6 rpg to 4.0 rpg. His shooting took a dramatic rise with his field goal percentage (.387 to .409), three-point field goal percentage (.297 to .420) and free-throw percentage (.689 to .793) all making improvements from freshman through sophomore seasons. In 2019-20, he finished fourth in the league in three-point shooting (42.0 percent) and steals per game (1.5). He also finished first on the team in three-point shooting (42-100, .420) and assists (97, 3.1 apg). Duke also was second on the team in scoring (12.0 ppg). He recorded a career-best game at Creighton on January 18, 2020 when he scored 36 points and was 6-8 from threepoint territory. In 2019-20, Watson finished fourth on the team in scoring (9.0 ppg). He led the squad and ranked ninth in the league in field goal percentage at 51.1 percent. He reached double figures in scoring in 11 of the 27 games he played. Watson also was third on the team in rebounding at 4.6 boards per game. In 96 career games, he has scored 878 points (9.1 ppg) and shot 56.6 percent from the field.

Goodine And Croswell Eligible Via NCAA Waiver: Sophomore guard Brycen Goodine fromNew Bedford, Mass. and junior forward Ed Croswell are eligible to compete for the Providence men's basketball team this season. The NCAA granted Goodine and Croswell a transfer waiver and both players have immediate eligibility to play at Providence for the 2020-21 season.

Goodine transferred to the Friars following one season at Syracuse University, where he played in 23 games for the Orange. In his freshman season he averaged 1.9 points and 1.0 rebounds per game and hit the game winning shot in a win over Wake Forest (2/8/20). A former Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year, he attended St. Andrew's School in Barrington, R.I., where he averaged 21.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 5.5 apg in his senior season. Goodine finished his high school career ranked as the No. 77 player in the country in 2019, according to ESPN.com. Croswell, a 6-foot-8-inch, 245-pound forward, transferred to P

Welcome to the coronavirus 2020. The games are back, the gym was old school and everyone is praying that teams can avoid infections.

Providence College men's basketball team ran up and down the court and slammed Fairfield University, 97-56, on Wednesday.

"It felt great to be out there," Head Coach Ed Cooley said. "I am so glad we were able to get a game in. I was really proud of how we performed."

 

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