Feb. 14, 1998
Men's Basketball Defeats Villanova, 58-52
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--The Providence College Friars played tough, scrappy defense and road the offensive coattails of Jamel Thomas to pick up their second consecutive BIG EAST win, a 58-52 decision over the Villanova Wildcats.
Thomas scored 20 points on one field goal, three, three-pointers and a 9-for-10 night from the foul line. The 6-6 swingman has now scored in double figures in all 23 Providence games this season. He added eight rebounds to equal the game high with Llewellyn Cole. Erron Maxey added nine points and Ben Perkins and John Linehan followed with seven each in the win.
Villanova got 15 points from Howard Brown and 10 from John Celestand in the loss. Villanova goes to 10-13 overall and 7-7 in BIG EAST play while the Friars are also 10-13 overall, but 5-9 in league play.
Justin Farley opened the scoring with an eight-foot jumper 50 seconds into the game and that would be the last that the Friars would score until the 12:57 mark, as they trailed 11-4. Villanova would go up 15-8 with 9:05 left in the half before they went ice cold. The Friars went on a 19-3 run in the last nine minutes to take a 27-18 lead at the half. The 18 points were the fewest given up by the Friars in the first half this season. The Wildcats were just 8-for-30 (26.7%) in the half while PC shot 37.5% (12-32).
PC opened the second half with a 12-6 run to take a 15 point lead, 39-24, with 13:44 left in the game. Now it was Villanova's turn to take the hot hand. The Wildcats, behind the shooting of Brown and Celestand went on a 22-7 run that tied the game at 46-46 wiht 4:45 left. Celestand's layup with 3:52 left gave Villanova a two-point lead at 48-46, but that was as the only lead Villanova would get in the half.
Thomas scored eight points (all free throws) down the stretch while Linehan added a free throw and Maxey a sweet steal and layup plus a foul shot to ice the win. PC shot all 24 foul shots in the second half making 17 of them while Villanova was making eight of ten.
The Friars outrebounded the Wildcats by ten, 46-36. Thomas and Cole each had eight, Maxey added seven while Linehan and Perkins added five each.
The win was PC's seventh in a row at the Civic Center against Villanova as the Friars have not lost at home to the Wildcats since January 13, 1990.
The Friars return to action on Wednesday, February 18th when they host the Miami Hurricanes in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Civic Center. That game can also be seen on ESPN-TV.
FRIAR NOTES....The Friars were held to less than 60 points for the 11th time this season. PC is 2-9 in those games....Corey Wright led the Friars with four steals....T.J. McKenzie saw ten minutes of action and scored four points, had four rebounds and three blocks in the game....Last season, PC and Villanova played each other three times. In those three games were five NBA players. PC sent Austin Croshere and God Shammgod to the NBA while Villanova saw Tim Thomas, Alvin Williams and Jason Lawson are all in the show this season. Could that have anything to do with both teams being 10-13 this late in the season????....Pete Gillen has used 13 different starting lineups this season...The current lineup of Moore and Thomas at guard, Farley and Perkins at forward and Maxey at center is 2-0....