Sports

Crosstown rival Friars blow out men’s basketball in annual matchup

Providence led 20-3, 50-18 en route to 38-point victory to snap Bears’ four-game win streak

By
senior staff writer
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bruno was easily dispatched by the Friars Tuesday night, losing the annual rivalry game 95-57 and falling to .500 on the season.

Looking overmatched and undersized, the men’s basketball team was run out of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Tuesday, falling to Providence College 95-57.

Brown (5-5) came into the contest as the winner of four straight games but fell victim to a hot Friars (7-2) team coming off a win over No. 21 University of Rhode Island Saturday. Providence handled Bruno on both ends of the court, shooting 61 percent from the field while keeping Brown’s top scorers in check on defense.

“A lot of credit to them, but I don’t think they saw our best effort or our best performance,” said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04. “We’ve seen some progress defensively, but obviously tonight we didn’t show the progress that I’ve felt like we’ve been making.”

Brown led in the contest just once, grabbing a 3-0 lead on a trey from Brandon Anderson ’20 on the Bears’ first possession. Providence subsequently rattled off a 20-0 run over the next seven minutes.

“We’ve been susceptible to runs, and it’s because we’re not where we need to be defensively right now,” Martin said. “So when our offense doesn’t produce or turns it over, it leads to transition. Even in the half court, we’re not where we need to be.”

Providence scored from all over the court, shooting 52 percent from three and outscoring Brown 42-26 in the paint. Emmitt Holt was 7-for-7 shooting in the first half, helping the Friars to cruise to a 50-18 lead after 20 minutes. Holt led all scorers in the contest with 20 points.

While Brown more than doubled its scoring output in the second half, the 57 points were the lowest for the Bears since an 84-55 season-opening loss to Cincinnati. Coming into the game, forwards Steven Spieth ’17 and Joshua Howard ’20 — Bruno’s leading scorers —  averaged 18 and 12 points, respectively. The pair combined for just nine points Tuesday.

“We were very, very nervous in preparing for Brown with respect to Spieth — he’s a great player,” said Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley. “I thought we were really dialed in defensively. Defensively is where we’re going to hang our hat because you’re not always going to throw it in the basket the way we did today.”

Obi Okolie ’19 was the lone bright spot for Bruno offensively, scoring 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. In total, Brown shot just 37 percent overall and 3-for-17 from three. Travis Fuller ’19 added 10 points off the bench.

“For whatever reason we weren’t moving, cutting and screening the way we’d like to,” Martin said. “I didn’t think we shared the ball the way we have been.”

The Friars used a considerable size advantage inside to out-rebound the Bears 37-27, including a 12-6 advantage in offensive rebounds.

Brown will have a chance to bounce back before the winter break, hosting Emerson and Johnson and Wales, both Division III teams, this week.

“We have to do more good things at both ends of the court for 40 minutes,” Martin said. “It can’t be flashes at one end of the court for five minutes. It has to be both ends of the court for 40 minutes.”