PROVIDENCE COLLEGE OPENS SEASON AT THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND... The Providence College women’s basketball team opens the 2014-15 season against the University of Richmond on Friday, Nov. 14. The game will be played at the Robins Center in Richmond, Va., and tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. ET.
TUNE IN... Live streaming audio of the Providence College vs. Richmond game will be available via Friars All-Access at www.Friars.com. Play-by-play will be provided by Chris Fama. The pre-game show will start at 3:45 p.m. (ET). During the 2014-15 women’s basketball season, Friars All-Access will feature live streaming video of each home game (unless scheduled to be televised). Additionally, each road game will feature a live audio broadcast. Friars All-Access requires a monthly or yearly subscription.
FRIARS AND SPIDERS MEET FOR FIRST TIME... The Friars and the Spiders will meet for the first time in the history of the two women’s basketball programs on Friday, Nov. 14.
SCOUTING RICHMOND... Richmond finished the 2013-14 campaign with a 14-16 overall record and a 8-8 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference (8th place). The Spiders return eight letter winners from last year’s team, including four members of the starting line-up. The lone loss in the starting line-up is Kristina King, who played all 30 games and led Richmond in scoring (12.5 ppg) and steals (2.0 spg) and also averaged 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. The Spiders are predicted to finish sixth in the Atlantic 10 in 2014-15. Red-shirt senior Genevieve Okoro was named to the Preseason All-Conference Second Team. A year ago, Okoro averaged 11.6 points and added a team-best 30 blocked shots and 8.7 rebounds per game.
FRIARS ALL-TIME IN SEASON OPENERS... Providence College is 27-13 all-time in season openers, during the 40-year history of the program. Last season, Providence defeated UMass Lowell, 109-74, in Lowell, Mass. The victory snapped a string of three-straight losses in season openers.
COMMON THREAD... Former Providence College Head Coach and Hall of Fame inductee Bob Foley also served as head coach at Richmond for six seasons from 1996-2002. Foley coached at Providence from 1986-96 and led the Friars to the 1990 BIG EAST Championship. He also is the program’s all-time leader in wins (206), having produced six 20+ win seasons at Providence.
ALEXIS HARRIS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST TEAM... Senior forward Alexis Harris was named to the 2014-15 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, which is voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. The announcement was made at BIG EAST Media Day in New York City on Oct. 22. Harris, an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection as a junior, averaged 14.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Friars in 2013-14. During BIG EAST Conference regular-season play, she remained a steady force with 15.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Harris also notched 12 double-doubles last season, which are the most by any returning player in the BIG EAST. The forward reached double-figures in the scoring column 23 times and also posted 14 double-digit rebounding games. Furthermore, Harris was one of just four players in the BIG EAST to record multiple 30-point games. She hit for a career-high 31 points against UMass Lowell on Nov. 9, and 30 points against Seton Hall on Jan. 25.
SARAH BEAL NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST HONORABLE MENTION... Sophomore guard Sarah Beal was named a Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention selection, which is voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. The announcement was made at BIG EAST Media Day in New York City on Oct. 22. Beal enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign as the program’s floor general, averaging 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and a team-best 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Her 135 assists mark the third-highest total all-time by a freshman in program history. Beal handed out a career-best 13 assists vs. Butler on Jan. 28, 2014, which is one hand-out shy of the BIG EAST single-game record by a freshman and also marked the most assists in a single game by a league player during the 2013-14 season. Beal also proved to be an effective scorer, having recorded 21 double-digit scoring games. She notched a career-best 27 points against Marquette on Jan. 21.
FRIARS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL... Despite recording just seven wins a year ago and finishing 10th in the BIG EAST standings, the league’s head coaches picked the Friars to finish sixth in the conference in 2014-15. The roster is filled with more height, length and defensive presence and will join forces with a proven ability to score the basketball, with the likes of Alexis Harris, Sarah Beal and senior guard Tori Rule (Minneapolis, Minn.).
GETTING OVER THE HUMP... Fourteen of the Friars 23 losses during the 2013-14 campaign were decided by 10 points or less, including four losses by five points or less.
TORI RULE APPROACHING 1,000-POINT MILESTONE... Senior guard Tori Rule enters the 2014-15 season with 945 career points. She has played 85 games for the Friars and has averaged 11.1 points per game. Last season, Rule netted a career-best 483 points for an average of 16.1 points per game. Rule needs 55 points to reach the milestone, and is looking to become the 32nd player in program history to score 1,000 points.
LOOKING TO PICK UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF... Junior Evi Iiskola scored a career-high 21 points in the Friars’ season-ending loss to Seton Hall in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament on March 8. Iiskola hit 6-of-8 attempts from the floor, including 4-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc. She also converted 5-of-6 free throws and added two rebounds and two assists.
DOUBLE TROUBLE... Senior Alexis Harris led the Friars with 12 double-doubles last season, including seven during BIG EAST Conference regular-season play. CHANISE BALDWIN RETURNS FROM INJURY TO BOLSTER FRIAR FRONT COURT... Senior forward Chanise Baldwin returns to the court this season after missing all of the 2013-14 campaign with an injury. The last time she saw action in a game dates back to February 6, 2013, when she recorded four points, six rebounds, three blocked shots, one assist and one steal vs. Pittsburgh. Baldwin, a 6-3 forward, will help bolster the Friars’ front court, as she joins All-BIG EAST Second-Team selection Alexis Harris in the paint.
100-ASSISTS IN THE LAST DECADE... Sarah Beal finished the 2013-14 season with 135 assists. She is just the fourth Friar in the last decade to dish 100+ assists in a single season. Kendria Holmes achieved the feat in consecutive seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08) with 103 and 117 assists, respectively. Lola Wells ‘12 recorded 101 hand-outs in 2010-11. Symone Roberts ‘13 dished 135 assists during the 2012-13 slate.
IISKOLA AND HARRIS NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS... Junior Evi Iiskola and senior Alexis Harris have been named team captains for the 2014-15 season. Harris played 29 games as a junior and averaged 14.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steal per game. She was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team at the conclusion of the season, and was tabbed a 2014-15 Preseason All-BIG EAST selection at the league’s annual media day. Iiskola, who is Head Coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl’s first recruit at Providence, finished her sophomore campaign with averages of 9.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. During the summer, Iiskola played for Finland’s National Team in the Eurobasket 2015 Qualifying Rounds.
NATIONAL EXPOSURE... Providence College will have three nationally-televised games on FOX Sports 1 this season, including its match-ups vs. Creighton (Jan. 16), Seton Hall (Feb. 6) and Villanova (Feb. 27). The Friars also will have four games broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network. Games scheduled for broadcast on the league’s digital network may be viewed by downloading the FOX Sports GO app on your mobile device or tablet, and is free of charge.
NEW FACES... The Friars have four freshman on this year’s roster, including forward Alise Parker (Germantown, Tenn.), guard Allegra Botteghi (Bologna, Italy), forward Brianna Frias (Worcester, Mass.) and guard Alison Lewis (Kennett Square, Pa.). Three of the four players check in at 6-feet or taller.
MONTHLY COACH’S SHOW... The Friars will release a monthly Coach’s Show, called Friar Hoop Scoop, which will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the women’s basketball progam this season. The show will be posted online during the first week of each month and may be viewed on each of the program’s social media platforms, including its YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/ProvidenceCollegeWBB. The first show was released earlier this month, and outlined Late Night Madness, BIG EAST Media Day and a campus spotlight segment on the Career Education and Professional Development Center.
FRIARS TO HOST CROSS-CITY RIVAL BROWN IN HOME OPENER... The Providence College women’s basketball team will host Brown University in its home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Alumni Hall/Mullaney Gymnasium in Providence, R.I. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Providence leads the all-time series with Brown, 17-5. The two teams last played on Dec. 4, 2011 in the Brown Bear Classic in Providence, R.I. Brown came away with a 70-57 victory on that day. Prior to the loss, the Providence College earned five-consecutive victories over the Bears.
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