PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)—The Providence Friars kept taking it into the middle and Sean Williams kept rejecting their shots. Unfortunately for Williams, his teammates didn’t do much to help him out.
Geoff McDermott had 18 points and 16 rebounds and the Friars withstood Williams’ career-high 12 blocks to beat the 23rd-ranked Eagles 73-64 Wednesday night.
It was Williams’ first action since he was suspended for two games for violating team rules.
“Our game plan was to go right at the shot blockers and get them into foul trouble,” McDermott said. “Once they got into foul trouble, we knew they couldn’t block every shot, so they started thinking about it a little more and backed off a bit.”
Sharaud Curry had 18 points, Weyinmi Efejuku 17 points and Jonathan Kale 11 for the Friars (2-1), who outrebounded BC 42-31 despite the 6-foot-10 Williams’ presence in the middle.
“For him to play the interior of our defense the way he did and for us not to take advantage of it is very unfortunate,” BC coach Al Skinner said. “What it means is we’re being spectators. What it means is guys are watching rebounds. We can’t afford to stand around and watch.”
Tyrese Rice led the Eagles (1-2) with 19 points and Jared Dudley had 17. Sean Marshall had 12 for BC, which lost its last game to Vermont of the American East Conference last Monday.
Williams started and blocked six shots in the opening 13 1/2 minutes, but was taken out with three fouls with 4:01 to play in the half. He finished with 10 rebounds, but missed all three of his shots from the field and went 2-for-6 from the free-throw line.
“The game was determined in the paint,” Providence coach Tim Welsh said. “Blocks, rebounds and our ability to challenge.”
But then Welsh immediately paused and said, “Unbelievable, 12 blocked shots.”
Williams, who appeared to go after nearly every shot during stretches, agreed that the Eagles were outplayed around the basket.
“It’s a lack of get-go, that’s what I feel,” he said. “We were all watching the shot go up.”
Four players have blocked 14 shots in a game in NCAA history, the last in 2000. Boston College said its the most in school history since it began keeping stats on blocks for the 1978-79 season.
Wednesday was the first meeting for the longtime Big East rivals since BC bolted for the Atlantic Coast Conference before the start of last season.
McDermott made a jumper with 13:04 left to put the Friars in front for good at 46-45. Curry followed with a 3-pointer and was credited with a basket on Williams’ goaltending to make it 51-45.
Providence extended it to 65-55 on Efejuku’s breakaway jam with 2:23 to play.
Williams picked up his first block of the second half—and seventh of the game—on Efejuku’s short jumper with just over 16 minutes to play, added one on McDermott about 4 minutes later and matched his career best of nine on Hall’s shot with 10:40 to play.
Williams’ final two blocks of night came when he got pieces of putback attempts in the final 3:26.
The Friars jumped to an 11-2 lead in the opening 3:19, but Boston College finally hit some outside shots against Providence’s 2-3 zone and responded with a 10-0 run. The lead changed hands three times before Marshall’s jumper with 5 seconds left tied it at 33 at halftime.
Boston College was coming off an embarrassing 77-63 loss to Vermont. The Friars also had a difficult loss in their previous game, dropping a 51-41 decision to Brown.