Feb. 24, 2009
Box Score |
Box Score in PDF Format
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College men's basketball team (17-11, 9-7 BIG EAST) upset No. 1/1 Pittsburgh (25-3, 12-3 BIG EAST) by a score of 81-73 on Tuesday, February 24 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. It was just the second time Providence had knocked off the No. 1 team in the country and the first time since Dec. 29, 1976 when PC beat then No. 1 Michigan 82-81 in double overtime. With the win, PC improved to 2-10 all-time vs. top-ranked opponents.
Senior guard Weyenmi Efejuku (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) scored a team-high 16 points and was one of five Friar seniors to score in double figures. All five players in double-figures were seniors.
In the last game at the Dunkin' Donuts for the Friars' eight seniors, Providence began the game on a 15-4 run, with all 15 points being scored by the team's starting seniors.
A lay-in by senior Randall Hanke (New York, N.Y.) gave PC a 19-10 advantage 10 minutes into the half and a strong drive and finish by senior Geoff McDermott (New Rochelle, N.Y.) moved the Friars ahead 29-20.
A driving dunk by McDermott off a good pass from sophomore Marshon Brooks (Stone Mountain, Ga.) extended the Providence lead to 10 (35-25) with 3:35 to go in the opening half. After a good defensive sequence, Curry found junior Brian McKenzie (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in transition for a slam that capped an 8-0 run by PC and gave the Friars a 39-25 lead.
A 3-pointer on the break by Curry propelled Providence to a 44-26 lead. It was only the third time all-season the Panthers trailed at the half and the first time by double-digit points.
PC shot 52.8-percent (19-36) from the floor in the opening stanza and held the Panthers to only 37.0-percent (10-27) shooting. The Friar defense forced 10 Pitt turnovers that led to 12 points for PC. Senior Jonathan Kale (Mattapan, Mass.) paced the Friars with 12 first-half points.
After the Panthers moved within 15 two minutes into the second half, senior Jeff Xavier (Pawtucket, R.I.) nailed a 3-pointer and Curry converted a fastbreak lay-up to put PC back up by 20 (51-31) at the 17:19 mark of the second half.
Pittsburgh responded with a 12-1 run to pull within 10 at 52-42. After the Panthers' push, senior Randall Hanke (New York, N.Y.) tallied five straight points and Xavier nailed a 3-pointer as part of a 7-2 surge by the Friars that moved the team back up 61-44 with 9:40 to play.
With the win, the Friars also snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Panthers.
The Friars wrap up the regular season with a pair of games on the road. On Sunday, March 1, Providence travels to Piscataway, N.J. for a 2:00 p.m. tilt with Rutgers before traveling to Villanova, Pa. to take on the Wildcats at the Pavillion on Thursday, March 5.