Wednesday, January 7, 2015

PC Wins 66-62 at Butler Behind An Unlikely Lineup in the 2nd Half

PC Friars 66 (12-4) - Butler Bulldogs 62 (11-5)

Pic from projo.com

Well, that game certainly went a little differently than I would have expected, but the outcome was exactly what I was looking for.  The Friars were just the second team to win an in-conference road game in the Big East this year (the other being Butler at Marquette) and in the process, came away with a huge win at the newly renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse to add to their resume.

After a very uninspiring first half that left the Friars down 7 heading into the locker room, Ed Cooley came out with a very different looking lineup to start the second half.  Cooley mixed things up with a lineup of Paschal Chukwu, Ted Bancroft, Kris Dunn, Junior Lomomba, and LeDontae Henton.  

At first, it looked like it was one of those lineups that a coach puts out there to motivate his starters to play better once he puts them back in, but Cooley stuck with those five for the whole second half, only subbing out Lomomba on two separate, yet very short occasions.

And wouldn't you fucking know it, the Friars he played in the second half, hustled their asses off and were able to come back and win a tough game on the road against a good Butler team.  A quick breakdown of the 5 guys:

Henton - Was his usually self, adding 11 of his 18 in the 2nd half with a lot of in-between stuff.
Dunn - Was terrific, scoring 20 of his 25, and continuing to fill out the stat sheet with 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Bancroft - Teddy was diving all of the floor and giving it everything he had.  Typical Ted play but for  an untypical 20 straight minutes.
Lomomba - Held Butler's best player Kellen Dunham to just 5 points in the second half and played great defense.
Chukwu - Paschal was the real story of the night.  Although everything might not show up in the box score, he played fantastic in the 2nd half.  After PC got bodied all over the place in the 1st half, Chukwu was able to grab 9 boards in the 2nd half and patrol the protected area with 2 blocks as well.  He changed this game completely.  To put some icing on the cake, he sealed the game at the end with some clutch free throws.  I can not say enough good things about him.

The tenacious 2nd half 5 held the Bulldogs to just 27% shooting in the second half and their effort made all the difference.

Some quick notes on the game:
  • I loved that Carson was talking up Chukwu during a timeout near the end of the game and giving him advice even though he hadn't played the entire second half.  You can tell these guys care about each other and just want to win.
  • Carson actually was playing pretty well in the first but Cooley rode the hot Chukwu the whole 2nd half.  Unfortunately I'm not sure how much those two can be on the floor together, but it's a good problem to have too many good big guys playing well.
  • Dunn played great but I still wish he wasn't lazy on so many simple passes that turn into unforced turnovers.  He still needs to trim those down.
  • Sweet dunk by this dude on Butler.

  • I still can't take that non-HD feed on CBS Sports Network.  It's brutal.
  • I would love to see if Lindsey has an in-between game because he just seems so freaking athletic.
  • Harris has not looked good since heading to the bench so far.
  • Great look from Dunn and finish from Carson.