Providence, 75, Virginia Tech 60
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 1/20/01
Blacksburg, VA -- The Providence College Friars completely controlled this game against the Hokie men's basketball team and won 75-60 in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score.
Providence slowly built a lead in the first half, taking a fifteen point lead into the half time break, and then blew Virginia Tech out of the building in the second half. After leading 38-23 at the break, the Friars' biggest second-half lead was 29 points, 71-42, with 6:08 to go. Led by Danny Gathings, the Hokies made an 18-4 run down the stretch to make the final score look respectable.
But respectable this game was not. Virginia Tech was beaten in every single statistical category but fouls. Providence had 20 fouls to Tech's 12, but other than that, it was an ugly day for the Hokies.
On the heels of last week's late-game collapse against Villanova, in which they blew a 23-point second-half lead, the Hokies came out flat and lethargic. The Friars, flashing a quick, balanced, cohesive offense and tenacious man-to-man defense, beat the Hokies in every way, including hustle.
On offense, the Friars' execution was crisp and workmanlike. They shot 48.4%, taking many wide-open shots and point-blank layups, and along the way, they converted 17 second-chance points off of 10 offensive rebounds. Providence had an impressive 18 assists on 31 field goals.
On defense, the Friars used a smothering man to man to shut down the listless Hokies. Tech was 21-54 (38.9%) for the game and had very little success moving the ball in the half court, often settling for dribble drives as the shot clock wound down.
The statistics were all in the favor of Providence College:
But more troubling for the Hokies than the statistics was the lack of energy enthusiasm that they showed in the game. Whereas Providence was sharp and cohesive, the Hokies showed very little energy all day and were never in the game.
Tech was led by Gathings with 16 points, all in the last 10 minutes of the game, after Providence had taken a 59-33 lead. Gathings was 6-7 from the field. Carlton Carter added 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Brian Chase had 10 points, 8 in the first half.
Tech is now 7-10 overall, 1-5 in the Big East Conference. Providence is 12-5, 3-2. Tech's next game is Saturday, January 27th, at home against St. John's, at noon.