Friars Win 4th Straight, Hold Off Greyhounds

Tim Welsh was generally satisfied with his team's effort Tuesday night as they held off a pesky Loyola Maryland team that gave them all they could handle for most of the game. The 94-81 win was the Friars 4th in a row and ends the Providence non-conference schedule with a 7-4 record.

Much of the Friars difficulty putting away the Greyhounds involved the unconscious shooting of Andre Collins. (39pts) Collins nearly had the Providence coaching staff reaching for a Tom Collins at half time after the Maryland transfer drained four three pointers and had 18 points in the first half.

Down for much of a see saw first half due to a quick Loyola press and Collins' hot shooting, the Friars went on a 10-3 run over the last 3 minutes of the first half employing a press of their own and getting a couple of three point shots from Geoff McDermott (21pts. 14rb) and Donnie McGrath(15pts). The Friars were down 43-40 at the half.

Randall Hanke had another big night in the scoring column (23pts. 6rb), but was plagued by foul trouble guarding Loyola's Hassan Fofana and had to sit for much of the last 10 minutes of the game.

The Friars relied on the gutsy defense and scoring of Sharaud Curry (18pts. 6asst. 3rbs) and Geoff McDermott who, along with a couple key baskets by Donnie McGrath pulled away from the Loyola over the last six minutes. Curry's defense on Collins in the 2nd half was significant as he slowed the scoring pace of the Greyhound sharpshooter when the game was still in doubt. Geoff McDermott's monster double double speaks for itself in securing the win.

The Friars may have lost a trap game like this last season, and their improvement over the last five and a half games has definitely helped to prepare them for the brutal Big East schedule. The Friars will try and take their recent winning ways on the road as they travel to take on Georgetown at the MCI Center Thursday night.

Tim Welsh Press Quotes:

"Curry and McDermott are competitors and winners, simple as that. I don't know if you can teach someone to become a great competitor, it may be something that you're just born with but it's clear they both have it."

"Collins looked like Allen Iverson out there tonight... I think Sharaud did a good job on him for a good part of the second half. A lot of his second half scoring was in the last few minutes after the team we had pulled away some."

"I don't think the lack of bench scoring was a concern tonight. I've known this team could put up points after the first two weeks of practice. Scoring distribution is going to fluctuate from game to game based on the situation."

"Jon Kale played 19 minutes tonight and while he doesn't show up a lot in the box score, I thought he did a good job battling on defense and supporting Geoff who seemed to get every rebound tonight. He needs to keep on working and adjusting to the speed of the game as we enter the Big East portion of our schedule."

"I don't know if we're ready for Georgetown yet or not, but I think the team has improved and continues to get better as we move along in the season. I like the improvement I've seen in some areas that we needed work in and if we continue to get better then that's what you're looking for."

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