Feb. 8, 1998
Friars Fall at Rutgers for Fifth Straight Loss
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers Scarlet Knights placed four starters in double figures to hand the Providence College Friars their fifth straight loss, 75-55, at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The 20-point loss was the Friars biggest loss this season.
Junior forward Rob Hodgson led Rutgers with 19 points and ten rebounds. He was followed by junior guard Geoff Billet with 14 while freshman forward Jeff Greer and senior center Eric Clark each added ten points. The Rutgers foursome offset Jamel Thomas' 25-point game. Thomas was the lone Friar in double figures, the 21st time he's done that this season. Freshman Ben Perkins added eight points offensively, while freshman Erron Maxey pulled down ten rebounds in the loss.
With the loss, the Friars fall to 8-13 overall, 3-9 in the BIG EAST. The win was Rutgers' first ever against the Friars in the all-time series. Rutgers is now 10-11 overall and 4-9 in league play.
Again, the Friars had their problems scoring as Rutgers jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back. Rutgers led by as many as 16 in the first half (34-18 with 3:21 left in the first half) on the way to a 39-26 halftime lead. The Friars shot just 31.5% (8-26) in the first half and only did a little better (32.1% - 9 for 28) in the second half.
PC made its lone run at Rutgers five minutes into the second half. Perkins made two free throws and a John Linehan steal set up Thomas for a layup on which he was fouled. Thomas completed the three-point play to cut the lead to 44-36 with 15:14 left. Hodgson hit on a short jumper for the Knights and Thomas came back to answer with another inside twisting and turning layup to make it 46-38 at 14:06.
Rutgers' Geoff Billet answered Thomas with a three-point bomb and that ended the Friars' comeback try at 13:51.
For the game, Rutgers shot 52.3% on 23 of 44 shots. The Scarlet Knights were also 24 of 30 from the foul line including Hodgson's 10-for-10 afternoon. Rutgers also won the battle of the boards, 36-30.
The Friars return to New Jersey on Wednesday, February 11th for a game at the Continental Arena against the Seton Hall Pirates. PC lost at home to the Pirates on January 31st by a 68-56 score.
FRIAR NOTES....The Friars have scored less than 60 points in their last four games and in six of the last seven. For the year, PC has been held to less than 60 points a total of ten times. The Friars are 1-9 in those 10 games....With his 25 points against Rutgers, Jamel Thomas has moved into 20th place on PC's all-time scoring list with 1,149 points. He passed Marty Conlon and Kevin Stacom...The Friars five-game losing streak is their longest since a six-game losint streak during the 1991-92 season....The Friars have not been five games under .500 since the 1987-88 season when they were 11-17....Erron Maxey received six stitches in his chin versus Rutgers after diving for a loose ball in the first half. He returned to play later in the game....