Jan. 9, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College men's basketball team defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 76-50, Wednesday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. PC improves to 10-5 (1-2 BIG EAST), while Rutgers drops to 8-8 (0-3 BIG EAST).
Sophomore guard Brian McKenzie (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the PC offense with a career-high 24 points and five rebounds. Junior center Randall Hanke (New York, N.Y.) added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Friars. Guard Jeff Xavier (Pawtucket, R.I.) pitched in 11 points and six boards. Junior forward Geoff McDermott (New Rochelle, N.Y.) finished with only seven points but added eight rebounds and eight assists.
PC held Rutgers to one field goal and only eight attempts in the first 10 minutes of the second half and opened up a 55-39 lead on the strength of a 16-2 run. The Friar defense allowed a total of only two field goals (2-of-20) in the second half and held RU to a 31.8 shooting percentage (14-of-44) on the night.
The Friars used an 8-0 run midway through the first half to build a 27-24 lead, but the Scarlet Knights fought back to end the half down by one, 35-34.
Providence forced 18 turnovers and turned them into 23 points at the offensive end. The Friars finished the night shooting 29-of-60 for a 48.3 clip. PC found success down low, finishing with 44 points in the paint. A 43-26 rebounding advantage allowed for 19 second chance Friar points.
Hanke led the Friars in the first half with 10 points. Weyinmi Efejuku (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) pitched in seven and McKenzie added six before the break. Although McDermott finished the first 20 minutes with only two points, he found other ways to be productive, tallying eight rebounds and six assists.
Providence improves to 8-1 this year after leading at halftime and 7-0 at home.
The Friars return to action Saturday, January 12, when they host USF at 4 p.m. at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
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