If there are must win games in January, this may have been one of them for the Friars. PC went through a rugged stretch of the schedule where they found themselves losers of five of six. With Marquette having the same 8-7 record going in, plus the win over PC a few weeks back, the Friars had to win this one. Even though it took overtime they did just that, beating Marquette 72-63 at Alumni Hall. Let’s see how the Friars got it done.
Duke Bounces Back BIG TIME
On the podcast this week we discussed how David Duke has been in a 3-game funk. Duke had been forcing it too much and not letting the game come to him. Early in the game, it looked like this was going to continue, as Duke missed his first four shots.
Boy did he make us look foolish. Duke was unstoppable for the Friars after settling into the game, scoring a season-high 31 points and added 6 rebounds and 6 assists. It was also nice to see him show some emotion, which a lot of fans had been clamoring for.
Friars Shutdown Garcia
In our preview BOC mentioned a key to the game was to slow down freshman Dawson Garcia. Garcia killed the Friars in the first matchup, scoring 20 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. In Marquette’s last game vs DePaul, the Demons did a great job of aggressively defending Garcia, and it threw off his rhythm. The Friars must’ve watched the tape because they did the same thing and Garcia was ineffective. The freshman big was held to 5 points and 3 rebounds.
For somebody who is such a match-up nightmare, WoJo needs to do a better job of manufacturing touches for him.
AJ Provides Spark, Breed Comes Up Big Late
AJ Reeves is still struggling with his shot, as he was 2/10 from the floor. The Friar junior, regardless, was much more aggressive and it paid off. Reeves finished second in scoring for the Friars with 13 points, including a perfect 7/7 from the line. Hopefully this can be a launching pad for Reeves to be a more consistent offensive contributor.
In our text group I mentioned how Alyn Breed was coming back down to earth after two great games in a row. At the time Breed had 2 points on 1/7. He could’ve chucked it up as an off night but instead decided to save his best play for overtime. Breed was MASSIVE in the extended frame on both ends of the court. Leading by 3 with 1:40 left Duke missed a tough jumper and Marquette got out to the races in transition. Their fastbreak ended as quick as it started with Breed coming up with a big steal. Moments later after Marquette got the defecit back to 2 it was Breed hitting a massive 3 with 37 seconds left, putting the Golden Eagles away for good.
Breed just has that moxie and “it” factor that can’t be quantified. Cooley found another diamond in the rough in Allyn Breed, and the rest of the Big East should take notice.
Friars Win the Boards
In the first game against Marquette PC got out toughed, especially on the glass. In this game PC made sure that didn’t happen. PC out rebounded Marquette 36-33 and crushed them on the offensive boards to the tune of 11-2. Nate Watson gets the rebounding title belt in this one with 7 boards.
The Friars next game will be Saturday 1PM EST against Georgetown, where the Friars will look to win 2 in a row and push for an NCAA tournament.