Jan. 24, 1998

Friars Lose by 18 at West Virginia


WVU Shoots 73.1% In The Second Half To Break Open Close Game

MORGANTOWN, W.Va - For 25 minutes on Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Providence College Friars were thinking upset as they battled the bigger, faster and more physical West Virginia Mountaineers every step of the way in a BIG EAST battle. The problem came in the last 15 minutes when the Mountaineers got on a roll and ran off a 17-2 scoring streak on the way to an 81-63 win over the Friars.

Sophomore center Marcus Goree led four Mountaineers in double figures with 19 points and a game high eight rebounds. Damian Owens, added 16 points, Jarrod West 15 and Adrian Pledger 13.

PC was led by Jamel Thomas with 16 points, Kendrick Moore and Ben Perkins added 13 and John Linehan chipped in ten on the afternoon. The loss drops PC to 8-9 overall and 3-5 in the BIG EAST. The Friars host eighth-ranked Connecticut on Tuesday at the Providence Civic Center in a 7:30 p.m. game. West Virginia is 17-3 overall and 7-3 in the BIG EAST 6 Division.

The Friars got off to a fast start making their first six shots on the way to shooting 52.0% (13-25) in the first half. PC led by as many as seven in the first half (30-23 with 4:58 left in the first stanza). A 9-0 run by West Virginia tied the score at 32-32 with 2:26 left in the half and the Friars trailed by one at half-time, 36-35. Thomas led the Friars with 14 points in the half on 4-7 shooting with two three-pointers and four free throws. Goree had 12 of his 19 points with seven rebounds for WVU as the Mountaineers outrebounded the Friars 19-9 in the first half.

In the second half, the two teams traded buckets early. John Linehan's three-pointer with 17:35 left gave the Friars their final lead at 17:35 of the second half at 41-40. Llewelly Cole's runner in the lane tied the game at 43-43, but from there it was all West Virginia

The Mountaineers went on a 17-2 scoring run. Adrian Pledger scored six of his 13 points in two minute span and Damian Owens capped the run with a highlight video slam dunk. WVU kept getting behind the Providence defense and converted easy layups and dunks as they shot 73.1%(19-26) in the half. The Mountaineers would get the lead to as many as 21 (79-58) with 2:27 left before the final score of 81-63.

For the game, the Mountaineers shot 61.1%, making 33 of 54 shots against the Friars. The 61.1% and the 33 field goals were season highs against the Friars this season. PC was outrebounded 31-22 for the game.

Notes:...Ben Perkins showed signs of returning from his knee injury as he scored 13 points in 29 minutes off the bench. He was 5-7 FG, 2-2 3 PT, 1-2 FT)....Justin Farley sustained a sprained left ankle in the first half and did not return to the game. His status is day-to-day...Kendrick Moore led the Friars with six rebounds...PC came up with 12 steals while forcing 13 turnovers agains the Mountaineers. Jamel Thomas and Corey Wright each had three.

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