Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Providence Scores 100, Upsets #15 Syracuse

The PC Friars got a huge victory tonight over the Syracuse Orange defeating the #15 ranked team in the country 100-94:

Sharaud Curry scored a season-high 22 points to lead six players in double figures, carrying Providence to a 100-94 upset over 15th-ranked Syracuse on Wednesday night. Marshon Brooks scored 17 points, and Geoff McDermott and Jonathan Kale each scored 15 for Providence (14-6, 6-2 Big East), which won for the seventh time in nine games and matched its best Big East start since 2000-01. Randall Hanke & Weyinmi Efejuku had 12 points apiece for Providence. Jonny Flynn led Syracuse (17-5, 5-4) with a career-high 35 points and Eric Devendorf had 27. The Orange lost their fourth in five games. Providence opened a 14-point lead after consecutive 3s by Curry and Brooks 22 seconds apart midway into the second half and Syracuse never moved closer than five points the rest of the way (ESPN).

The Friars came out in this game with a ton of energy and aggressiveness and were in full attack mode from the start. I have to say I haven't seen a Providence team come out on the court with so much heart in a long time. I think that has to be partly credited to new coach Keno Davis and also a sense of urgency for the seniors on Providence. I loved the way Sharaud Curry, Weyinmi Efejuku, and Marshon Brooks all came out aggressive and attacked the basket relentlessly. It was also nice to see the Friars knock down some three's, because they have struggled in that area this season, but were able to connect on 10 triples tonight.

I was definitely impressed with PC's effort more than anything and I now believe more than ever that they will have an excellent chance to beat Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Villanova and possibly finish better than .500 in the conference. With 6 wins already, they would need to go just 4-6 in their last 10 games to get to 10 wins in the Big East, which would give them a strong case for the NCAA Tournament. To get to those 10 wins, they most likely will have to beat one of the three teams I listed above plus their 2 matchups with Rutgers and a game against South Florida. That is certainly a strong possibility.

Next up for the Friars is UConn, who they will travel to play on Saturday.

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