#10 Providence College Friars 90 (12-1)
UMass Minutemen 66 (6-5)
With Kris Dunn back in the lineup after being sidelined for a week and a half with a stomach virus, the Providence College Friars showed exactly what time of team they could be against the UMass Minutemen, breezing by the A-10 home team, 90-66.
PC came into the game ranked number 10 in the nation, the first time the Friars have cracked the top ten since 1978 when they were ranked ninth, and played up to the billing of a top ten team.
- Ben Bentil led the way with a career-high 32 points, matching Kris Dunn's team-high point total for a game this season (Dunn dropped 32 on Harvard) and tossed in a game-high 12 rebounds and two blocks just for fun.
- Nothing against him, but I don't think big boy Holloway was quite up to the task of guarding Bentil out by the three point line.
- Bentil dominated the big guys of UMass for the entire game, finishing a very efficient 11/16, while also draining 3 of 5 three pointers. Inside, Outside, Everyside...Bentil could not be contained.
- It's nice to have these two back on the floor at the same time. When both of them were on the court, the Friars were a completely different team.
- With the 32/12 line, Bentil recorded a double-double for the third time this season and second straight game.
- Jalen Lindsey continued to be in the starting lineup with Ryan Fazekas still sidelined with mono. Lindsey chipped in 15 points and scored in double figures for the third straight game. He's certainly making the most of his opportunities with Fazekas out and is unexpectedly snagging a bunch of boards in the process.
- I would love to see a bit more effort from him on the defensive side of things though. He was walking to close out shooters with his hands down and just standing under the basket when guys on UMass were getting offensive rebounds. Not jumping or reaching for the ball at all. Those can be fixed with a little kick in the rear, but other than that, he's been playing pretty well for PC.
- Kyron Cartwright continued to look really poised and I'm a big fan of when he comes in to run the point and they give Dunn some run at the two. UConn used to do that with Kemba Walker when Shabazz Napier would come into the game and it game him a little more freedom to create from a different spot on the floor and look more for his own offense.
- Plus, Kyron loves dishing out the oops.
- Junior Lomomba was one of 4 players to score in double-figures for the Friars.
- Rodney Bullock just missed out on having all 5 starters reach 10 or more in scoring, ending up with 8 points and 6 boards.
- Now, on to Kris Dunn.
- Welcome back you sexy son of a bitch.
- Here's the exact moment I knew Kris was back...
- Dunn finished with 14 points (6/9 shooting), 11 assists, and 6 rebounds. He took a couple breathers in the game as he gets himself back to 100%, but God it's great to have him back in the lineup. He changes everything.
- My favorite play of the game had a little reversal of roles for Bentil and Dunn. Those are the kinds of plays I was talking about when Cartwright comes in at the point. Just take notice of the athleticism.
- The fact that we didn't get a match-up between Quadree Smith and Rashaan Holloway was severely disappointing.
- The Friars just missed the 50% mark, shooting 49.3% from the floor.
- Providence won the rebound battle, out-rebounding the Minutemen 42-34.
- Tommy Planek Time was in effect tonight, which is always a good thing.
Next Up, the Friars open up Big East play at #9 Butler on New Year's Eve at 2:30 PM. The New Year's Eve Big East slate of games is just another reason why Big East basketball is awesome.