Providence Keeps Upset Run Going, Beating No. 8 Villanova 83-68

A day after Syracuse was shocked by Seton Hall, the Friars have Nova in trouble.

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Villanova Vs. Providence: Wildcats Fall Victim To Classic Let-Down Game

A week removed from beating Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, the No. 8 Villanova Wildcats lost by 15 Wednesday night to the Providence Friars. The Nova Blog is worried the players might have in to their own hype a little too much in tonight's trap game.

If Providence shot something like 50%, then I might be a little less disappointed, because I could say they were just on tonight.  This was not the case though, as the Friars shot only 37% from the field.  It's alarming to get ripped by 15 points when the opponent doesn't even shoot great.  The loss really comes down to the Villanova defense playing into the strengths of Providence.  They didn't shoot great from three, but the Friars still made 7 from downtown, and most of the shots were uncontested. In addition, letting a team shoot 38 free throws, while you only get 18, truly exemplifies a lack of focus.

We'll see how this Villanova team reacts on Saturday when they take on the Georgetown Hoyas. Georgetown rolled on St. John's by 25 points tonight, so they'll be hot. Or will they be due for the next Big East letdown? 


Villanova Vs. Providence Final Score: Providence Basketball Claims Another

Days after stunning the Louisville Cardinals 72-67, the Providence Friars have knocked off another top-ranked Big East basketball squad, beating the No. 8 Villanova Wildcats, 83-68. Will upsets never cease in the Big East? The Friars are now an imposing 2-6 in conference play.

How did this happen? For one, Providence shot an astounding 38 free throws, as Nova was whistled for 26 fouls. By comparison, the Wildcats shot fewer than half that many. Of course, Providence played good defense too, holding Villanova to 32.9 percent shooting on the evening.

Providence’s Marshon Brooks is tonight’s leading scorer despite tossing up eight three pointers and connecting on none of them. This game was bizarre, in case you’re wondering.

It’s hard to know what to make of the Friars right now. They’ve beaten two good teams in back-to-back games, and two of their losses were close efforts against top competition (Pitt, pre-meltdown Syracuse). But they’ve also lost to underwhelming opponents like La Salle and South Florida. Next they’ll take on Seton Hall, who scored an upset of its own last night against Cuse.

For more on this game, visit The Nova Blog. Be gentle.


Villanova Vs. Providence Score: Friars Sounding The Upset Alert

You wouldn’t expect Providence basketball to get its second Big East win against the top-10 Villanova Wildcats, but that could be just what’s in the works at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The Dunkin Donuts Center! The Friars lead Nova 34-25 at the half, an impressive defensive showing considering the Wildcats rank 39th in the nation with almost 77 points per game.

Nova has shot only 25 percent, though they’ve been able to hold Providence to only 33.3. Here’s an even uglier stat: the teams are a combined six-for-27 from the three-point line, a ghastly 22 percent that has not convinced anyone to stop heaving. Tonight’s keep on chuckin’ honors go to Friars guard Marshon Brooks, who’s missed all six of his threes.

The favorites are also dominating the glass, outrebounding Providence 29 to 18.

Providence’s Gerard Coleman and Villanova’s Maalik Wayns are your leading scorers tonight, with nine points each.

For more on this game join The Nova Blog.


No. 8 Villanova Vs. Providence: Another Big East Upset Alert

GAME NOTES: Fresh off a highly-impressive road victory, the eighth-ranked Villanova Wildcats invade Providence for a Big East Conference clash with the hometown Friars.

Last Saturday, Villanova found a way to defeat an outstanding Syracuse team in the Carrier Dome by an 83-72 final. That victory enabled the Wildcats to bounce back strong from a 61-59 road loss to UConn. Jay Wright's club is now 17-2 overall, and a 5-1 league mark certainly places the 'Cats in contention for the Big East Conference crown.

Providence suffered six consecutive defeats prior to Saturday clash with nationally-ranked Louisville. Fortunately for the Friars, they were able to knock off the Cardinals by a 72-67 final to improve to 11-2 at home. Still, they are just 1-6 in Big East action and have plenty of work to do to become relevant in the standings.

Villanova owns a 51-34 series advantage versus Providence, which includes eight straight wins over the Friars.

It can be argued with validity that Villanova possesses the best backcourt in all of college basketball. Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes and Maalik Wayns all start for the Wildcats, giving coach Wright three terrific ball handlers and shooters on the court. Wayns came through with 21 points against Syracuse, while Stokes and Fisher finished with 16 points apiece. As for Antonio Pena, he tallied 10 points for the Wildcats, who shot 50 percent from the field and nailed 11 three-pointers. Perhaps most impressive as all for 'Nova was a 22- of-24 effort from the foul line. Fisher is scoring 16.1 ppg for the Wildcats, and he has handed out 95 assists. Stokes checks in with 15.8 ppg, and Wayns adds 13.9 ppg in addition to 98 assists. Villanova is generating 76.9 ppg while holding foes to 62.5 ppg on 38.7 percent shooting from the floor, and it is the strong defense that often goes overlooked.

Sure, Providence has struggled in recent weeks, but Marshon Brooks has shined even in defeat. The senior swingman has started all 20 games for the Friars and is averaging 23.6 ppg to lead the conference. More than just a scorer, he is ripping down 7.5 rpg and has blocked 25 shots, impressive for a 6-5 player. Vincent Council brings 14.2 ppg to the court for Providence, and he is handing out 6.4 apg as well. Gerard Coleman rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers with 10.7 ppg for PC, which is scoring 77.7 ppg while allowing 72.1 ppg overall. Brooks was a force as usual against Louisville, as he poured in 27 points on the strength of a 4-of-7 effort from three-point range. Coleman added 19 points and Council had 13 points for the Friars, who forced 18 turnovers and limited the Cardinals to 4-of-23 shooting from three-point range.

Brooks will give Villanova all it can handle tonight, but the edge still goes to the Wildcats. At this point, 'Nova is as strong a national title contender as there is in the country.

GAME NOTES: Fresh off a highly-impressive road victory, the eighth-ranked Villanova Wildcats invade Providence for a Big East Conference clash with the hometown Friars.

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,993) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: COX Sports, SNY. Home Record: Villanova 11-0, Providence 11-2. Away Record: Villanova 5-1, Providence 0-5. Neutral Record: Villanova 1-1, Providence 1-1. Conference Record: Villanova 5-1, Providence 1-6. Series Record: Villanova leads, 51-34.

Villanova 81, Providence 74

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