|Brice picking up speed
2/4 - Providence men’s basketball squad hoped to pull out of their seven-game losing streak as they headed south of the border for NCCAA action this past weekend but came away with a much different result.
The Freemen started the weekend with a 78-63 loss in their match-up against the Faith Baptist Bible College Eagles and finished off the weekend with an 81-63 loss to the North Central University Rams.
On Friday night, the Eagles jumped out to an early lead on the Freemen earning a 14-4 lead after five minutes of play. Providence then picked up their play behind a strong effort by Joel Coursey (13 pts, 7 rebounds) and managed to keep the rest of the half tight, pulling within nine by the halftime break.
Providence continued their heart-and-soul effort to start the second half, but the Eagles’ three-point shooters started heating up 10 minutes in, widening the game with an 11-2 scoring run to pull themselves out of reach for good.
Providence dominated in the offensive paint, scoring 34 points down low, but it wasn’t enough to handle the Eagles as they took the game by a 78-63 score.
Jon Thompson (12 pts., 5 rebounds, 6 assists) and Zachary Beazley (10 points) both put in strong efforts for the Freemen, while Dathan Marshall and Tyler Betz led the way for the Eagles with 27 and 26 points respectively.
Providence hoped to rebound against the NCU Rams on Saturday and found themselves in a much better position early on. Sophomore Chris Funk (15 pts., 5 rebounds, 3 assists) came out hot for the Freemen and helped keep the squad in their closest half with the Rams in years, going into the break down by only 3 at 33-30.
However, coming out at half time the Freemen struggled and allowed the Rams to go on an 11-0 run to start out the frame. Providence continued to struggle throughout the half and were down by as much as 27 points at one point.
Yet, Providence once again showed heart, and, led by tenacious play from freshman Thompson (14 pts., 3 assists) were able to cut down the lead to 18 by the final buzzer, losing the game 81-63.
Providence were out-rebounded in the game, but gave their strongest performance against the Rams’ squad in years showing if they can play consistent ball without giving up big streaks, they can certainly compete at the NCCAA regional tournament.