Women’s Basketball Game Notes vs. Villanova

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FRIARS HEAD TO FINNERAN PAVILION TO FACE VILLANOVA… The Friars will face Villanova at Finneran Pavilion on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network via FloSports.

FAMILIAR FOE… The Friars and Villanova Wildcats have met 84 times, marking the most games against a single opponent in Providence College women’s basketball history.

ALL-TIME SERIES… Villanova leads the all-time series against Providence, 55-29. The Wildcats have won eight of the last 10 games. Providence won the most recent meeting between the two teams (82-76, OT) on Jan. 24 in Providence, R.I.

A LOOK AT THE LAST DECADE… Providence and Villanova have played 21 times over the course of the last decade. The Friars have claimed just four wins against the Wildcats during that stretch, with all four of those victories coming at Alumni Hall. In breaking down the series during that 10-year span, Providence is 4-7 vs. Villanova at home and 0-10 on the road.

FRIARS AND WILDCATS IN OVERTIME… Providence and Villanova have played six overtime games during the all-time series. Providence has posted a 5-1 mark vs. Villanova in OT, including an 82-76 overtime victory at Alumni Hall on Jan. 24.

FRIARS AND WILDCATS IN VILLANOVA, PA. … The Friars and Wildcats have met 37 times in Villanova, Pa.  The Wildcats lead the series on their home court, 31-6. Providence is 0-5 vs. Villanova at Finneran Pavilion.

LAST TIME PROVIDENCE DEFEATED VILLANOVA ON ITS HOME COURT… The last time Providence claimed victory on the Wildcats’ home court dates back to Jan. 19, 2011. On that day, the Friars defeated Villanova, 58-53, at The Pavilion. Since then, Providence has lost 12-straight games to the Wildcats on their home court.

20/20… Grace Efosa (29) and Marta Morales Romero (26) combined to score 55 points against Villanova on Feb. 24. They are the first Friar duo to each score 20+ points in BIG EAST regular-season game since Jan. 18, 2019. On that day, Jovana Nogic (24) and Maddie Jolin (20) achieved the feat against Butler. 

HOME AND AWAY… The Friars have posted a 8-6 record this season when playing at home in Alumni Hall. Conversely, Providence has compiled a 4-9 mark in games played on the road. 

FRIARS EXCEED WIN TOTAL FROM A SEASON AGO… Providence has already exceeded its win total in BIG EAST play from a season ago, with four games left on the regular-season schedule (6-8). Last year, Providence finished the conference slate with a 4-16 mark. 

10-POINT OR LESS… Sixteen of the Friars’ 27 games have been decided by 10 points or less this season. Providence has compiled a 8-8 record in those games, including a 5-5 mark in BIG EAST play.

IMPROVING BEYOND THE ARC… Through 13 non-conference games, the Friars shot a dismal 27.1-percent from three-point territory (49-181). Through 14 BIG EAST games, Providence has converted 35.1-percent of its three-point attempts (66-188), which ranks third in the league during conference play. 

BRYNN FARRELL RANKS AMONG TOP THREE-POINT SHOOTERS IN THE BIG EAST… Brynn Farrell is shooting 45-percent from three-point territory during BIG EAST play. Her percentage ranks fourth-best in the conference behind a trio of players from Butler, led by Caroline Strande (.467). 

DEFENDING THE THREE-POINT ARC… In addition to shooting the ball well from beyond the arc, Providence leads the league in three-point percentage defense, holding opponents to just 27.7-percent from deep (88-318). 

MORE DEFENSE… The Friars have held 14 opponents below 40-percent shooting from the field this season overall. In those games, they have compiled a 10-4 record. Their four losses in that scenario came against No. 10/11 Baylor and Kennesaw State at the West Palm Beach Classic (Dec. 20 -21), Georgetown (Feb. 10) and Butler (Feb. 14). 

FRIARS RANK 33RD IN NCAA IN FIELD-GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE… The Friars ranks 33rd in the nation among 349 teams in field-goal percentage defense. Providence has held its opponents to 37-percent shooting from the field this season. 

PERFECTION AT THE LINE… Brynn Farrell hit 10-10 free throw attempts in the Friars’ game vs. DePaul on Feb. 7. It marked the 12th time in program history that a Friar has gone perfect from the stripe when attempting 10-or-more free throws in a game. Farrell is shooting 81.1-percent from the foul line overall this season (90-111). She improves to 84.5-percent in BIG EAST play (49-58), which ranks sixth in the conference. 

DOUBLE-TROUBLE… Three Friars have recorded double-doubles this season. Olivia Olsen ranks second in the BIG EAST with nine double-doubles and owns 13 in her career. She has posted five double-doubles in BIG EAST regular-season play. Brynn Farrell is second on the team with two double-doubles, marking the first of her career. Marta Morales Romero rounds out the list of players on the roster with a double-double, having recorded the first of her career against DePaul (Jan. 3) with 12 points and 10 boards.

DOUBLE-DIGITS… Ten different Friars have reached double digits in the scoring column this season in at least one game. Olivia Olsen leads the way with 24 double-digit games. Brynn Farrell in second on the team in double-digit scoring games (16). Through 14 BIG EAST games, Olsen has recorded double figures in the scoring column 13 times.

OLIVIA OLSEN CLIMBING SINGLE-SEASON BLOCKS LIST… Olivia Olsen has recorded 50 blocked shots this season, which is the seventh-highest single-season total in program history. A year ago, Olsen swatted a career-high 53 shots, which is tied for the third highest total. The single-season record for blocks at Providence was set by Mary Ann McCoy in 1977-78, with 68. Olsen matched her career high in blocked shots on two occasions this season vs. Sacred Heart and Georgetown (six).

Providence College Single-Season Blocks Leaders (50+)

69 – Mary Ann McCoy (1977-78)

57 – Monika Roberts (1999-00)

53 – Olivia Olsen (2022-23)

53 – Mary Baskerville (2018-19)

52 – Andrea Mangum (1990-91)

51 – Mary Baskerville (2019-20)

50 – Olivia Olsen (2023-24)

OLIVIA OLSEN BECOMES ONE OF TWO PLAYERS TO RECORD 50+ BLOCKS IN MULTIPLE SEASONS… Olivia Olsen became the second player in program history to record 50-or-more blocked shots in multiple seasons, joining Mary Baskerville ’22. Olsen recorded 53 blocks last season and owns 50 blocks this year. Baskerville recorded 53 blocks during the 2018-19 campaign and 51 in 2019-20.

CLIMBING THE LADDER… Olivia Olsen currently ranks 23rd all-time in career rebounding at Providence with 587 boards. Olsen hauled in eight rebounds in the Friars’ most recent game against Xavier on Feb. 18 and jumped ahead of Dottie Van Gheem ’88 (581) and Jen Gombotz ’01 (583). 

FRIARS’ SCHEDULE FILLED WITH 2022-23 POSTSEASON PARTICIPANTS… Thirteen of the Friars’ opponents in 2023-34 qualified for postseason play last season. Ten of those 13 teams competed in the NCAA Tournament, while three others earned invitations to the WNIT. Among the list of 2022-23 NCAA Tournament participants are Vermont, Iona, Sacred Heart, Baylor and five BIG EAST Conference opponents, UConn, Creighton, Marquette, St. John’s and Villanova. The teams that competed in the WNIT are Columbia, Rhode Island and Seton Hall. The Friars have faced 10 of these opponents, thus far, and have compiled a 5-7 record. 

OLIVIA OLSEN RANKED AMONG BIG EAST LEADERS… Junior Olivia Olsen ranks among BIG EAST leaders in eight different statistical categories, including a top-four ranking in seven of those categories. Below is a breakdown of where Olsen ranks among BIG EAST players overall (conference statistics only).

Scoring: 11th (14.6 ppg) 

Rebounding: 3rd (8.7 rpg) 

Field-goal percentage: 4th (.544) 

Blocked shots: 2nd (1.8 bpg) 

Offensive rebounding: 2nd (2.9 orpg)

Defensive rebounding: 4th (5.8 drpg) 

Double-doubles: 2nd (9)

Double-digit rebounding games: 3rd (10)

LEADING THE WAY… Olivia Olsen has led the Friars in scoring in 17 games this season and has led the team in rebounding 16 times. She has scored in double figures a team-best 24 times.

TOUGH ON THE BOARDS… During BIG EAST regular-season play the Friars rank second in the league in rebounding offense (39.9 rpg), rebounding margin (+8.9) and rebounding defense (31.1 rpg). The Friars have out-rebounded 11 of their 14 BIG EAST opponents this season. Olivia Olsen ranks second in the BIG EAST in rebounding during league play at 9.1 boards per game. Three other Friars are averaging 5.0-rebounds per game or better during league play: Emily Archibald (6.0), Brynn Farrell (5.6) and Grace Efosa (5.4). 

BALL SECURITY… The Friars have committed 20+ turnovers in 13 games this season and have posted a 5-8 record in those contests. Providence recorded a season-high 28 miscues against UConn (Jan. 10). The Friars committed a season-low 11 turnovers against Monmouth (Nov. 22). Providence is averaging 20.1 turnovers per game in BIG EAST play and have been outscored 275-175 in points off turnovers.

OFF THE MARK… The Friars were held without a three-point field goal for the first time this season on Feb. 10 against Georgetown. Providence entered the game as the second-best three-point shooting team in the BIG EAST and finished 0-14 from deep vs. the Hoyas. It snapped a streak of 70-straight games with a three-pointer. The last time the Friars were held without a three in a game dates back to Jan. 16, 2022 vs. Seton Hall (0-11).

LARYN EDWARDS CRACKS STARTING LINE-UP… Graduate student Laryn Edwards was officially added to the roster on Nov. 28. She played four seasons of NCAA Division I basketball at Loyola (Md.) (2018-22) and joined the Providence College women’s basketball program as a graduate assistant in the Fall of 2022, under then-Head Coach Jim Crowley. Since being activated on the roster this season, Edwards has played 13 games and has appeared in the starting line-up nine times. She’s averaging 3.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Edwards scored a season-high 10 points against Sacred Heart on Dec. 16. At Loyola, Edwards played 65 career games with 41 appearances in the starting line-up. She averaged 4.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steal per game. 

FRIARS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS THIS SEASON… The Friars are 0-3 vs. nationally-ranked opponents this season, and 1-1 vs. teams receiving votes in the national polls. The Friars fell to No. 10/11 Baylor, 61-36, on Dec. 20 at the West Palm Beach Classic. Providence fell to No. 13/14 UConn (85-41) at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. and No. 22/21 Creighton (81-70) at D.J. Sokol Arena in back-to-back games. The Friars defeated Seton Hall, 51-46, who was receiving votes in the Coaches’ Poll at the time the game was played (Dec. 30). Most recently, the Friars fell to #RV/RV Marquette, 66-62, on Feb. 3.

LAST TIME PROVIDENCE DEFEATED A RANKED OPPONENT… The Friars last defeated a ranked opponent on Jan. 4, 2023. That day, Providence took down No. 25/24 Creighton, 79-75, in Omaha, Neb. 

OLIVIA OLSEN AND BRYNN FARRELL RECORD DOUBLE-DOUBLES VS. ST. JOHN’S… Olivia Olsen and Brynn Farrell each recorded a double-double in the Friars’ game against St. John’s. Farrell finished with 18 points and 12 boards and Olsen added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The last time two Friars recorded double-doubles in the same game dates back to the 2014-15 season.

2023-24 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED… Seniors Grace Efosa and Brynn Farrell and juniors Kylee Sheppard and Emily Archibald were named team captains ahead of the 2023-24 season. Head Coach Erin Batth made the announcement on Oct. 30, prior to the team’s exhibition game vs. New Haven (Nov. 1).

MARTA MORALES ROMERO AND UGNE SIRTAUTAITE REPRESENT THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES IN FIBA EVENTS… Junior Marta Morales Romero (Spain) and freshman Ugne Sirtautaite (Lithuania) have each represented their respective countries in high-level FIBA-sponsored events. Morales Romero most recently competed in the 2023 FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship (Jul. 29-Aug. 6) and helped guide Spain to a Bronze Medal while averaging 8.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. She finished second among her teammates in scoring (8.3 ppg) and shot 43.5-percent from the floor overall (20-46). Sirtautaite recently played in the 2023 FIBA U19 World Cup held in Madrid, Spain (Jul. 15-23). She averaged 10.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game, while shooting 43.3-percent from the field (23-53). Additionally, she scored a personal-best of 19 points on 7-10 shooting during the Round of 16 vs. Egypt (July 19) and recorded a personal-best 11 rebounds during classification play against Mali (July 22).

SARAH BANDOMA MAKES HER WAY BACK TO THE OCEAN STATE… Junior forward Sarah Bandoma played two seasons of NCAA Division I basketball at St. Francis College Brooklyn. The college announced it was eliminating its athletics programs at the close of the 2022-23 academic year, so Bandoma entered the transfer portal. The Johnston, R.I. native signed with the Friars and first-year Head Coach Erin Batth and has two years of eligibility. During her two seasons at St. Francis, Bandoma appeared in 49 games and was a member of the starting line-up 29 times. Last season, she led St. Francis in rebounding (7.0 rpg), offensive rebounding (3.3 orpg), blocked shots (44) and field-goal percentage (.491, 81-165). She chipped in 6.1 points per game.

OLIVIA OLSEN, GRACE EFOSA AND KYLEE SHEPPARD RETURN TO FRIARS TO PLAY FOR FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACH ERIN BATTH… Olivia Olsen, Grace Efosa and Kylee Sheppard entered the transfer portal at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. The trio each finished in the top four on the team in scoring and rebounding. All three players decided to return to Friartown after exploring their options and speaking to Coach Batth and her newly assembled staff.  The three players combined for 43.9-percent of the Friars’ scoring last season, totaling 853 of Providence’s 1,942 points.

KYLEE SHEPPARD TO MISS REMAINDER OF 2023-24 SEASON… It was announced on Jan. 5 that junior guard Kylee Sheppard will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season due to an injury. Sheppard, a team captain, started six games for the Friars this season and averaged 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and a team-best 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

ERIN BATTH ERA BEGINS IN FRIARTOWN… Erin Batth was hired as the 11th women’s basketball coach in program history at Providence College on March 20, 2023. Batth arrived in Friartown with 17 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, with her most recent stops coming at NC State (2018-22) and Michigan (2022-23). She has been part of five conference championships, eight NCAA Elite Eight appearances and three trips to the NCAA Sweet 16. She also served as an assistant coach at Liberty (2017-18), Georgia State (2014-17), Tennessee Tech (2012-14) and Towson (2010-12). Batth earned her first career win as a head coach on Nov. 7 vs. Hampton (76-46).

ERIN BATTH’S PLAYING CAREER… Batth played collegiately at Clemson and graduated in 2001. She earned Second-Team Defensive All-America honors and All-ACC Second Team honors during her career. As a senior, she averaged 12.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and finished her impressive four-year career with 972 points, 722 rebounds and 116 blocked shots. She helped the Tigers to four-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and helped Clemson advance to the Sweet 16 in 1999. Batth was the first player from Clemson drafted into the WNBA, going to the Cleveland Rockers in 2001. She played professionally with Panithnaikos and Appollon (in Greece) and Migros (in Turkey). Her WNBA experience also included time with the San Antonio Silver Stars and the Sacramento Monarchs.

ERIN BATTH RADIO SHOW TO DEBUT ON 790 THE SCORE… The eighth recording of the Erin Batth Radio Show will air on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 4:30-5:00 p.m. on 790 The Score. The show was developed via an existing partnership between Providence College Athletics, LEARFIELD’s Providence Friars Sports Properties and Cumulus Media Providence. The show is hosted by Mike Mancuso, who is in his sixth season as the lead the play-by-play voice of Friar women’s basketball. Listen live online at: https://www.thescore790.com or tune in to 790AM. The show also will be available online via the Varsity Network app. The remaining schedule is as follows: Feb. 21and Mar. 6. All shows will air 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. 

FRIARS SIGN TWO PLAYERS… First-year Providence College women’s basketball Head Coach Erin Batth announced on Nov. 8 that Orlagh Gormley (North Quincy, Mass.) and Audrey Shields (Troy, N.Y.) each signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Providence in the Fall of 2024. Gormley, a 5-7 point guard, currently attends Dexter Southfield, where she earned NEPSAC AA First-Team All-Star recognition, Patriot League Most Valuable Player and Dexter Southfield MVP honors. During the 2022-23 season at Dexter, Gormley averaged 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 4.2 steals per game, while recording a 2.8 assist/turnover ratio. Before arriving at Dexter Southfield in 2022-23, she spent the previous two years at Quincy High School, where she was named Boston Globe First Team Dream Team and Boston Herald All-Star accolades. Gormley led North Quincy to the MIAA Elite 8 and was named Team MVP, en route to setting the all-time scoring record at Quincy. Additionally, she was selected to play with the U-18 Irish National Team and helped the team win a Gold medal at the Four Nations Tournament in Cardiff, Wales (2023). Gormley was recently announced as a nominee for the 2023-24 McDonald’s All-American Game. Gormley played AAU basketball for MCW Starz Elite.  Shields, a 6-1 guard/forward, currently attends Emma Willard School. She is a three-time First-Team All-Wasaren League and two-time team captain. During the 2022-23 campaign, Shields averaged 18.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.1 steals per game. She was named Team MVP last season. In her first year with the program, she was the recipient of the prestigious Helen S. Cheel Award in recognition of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and spirit. Additionally, Shields has had the opportunity to compete with the youth German National Teams in 2019 and 2022. Shields played AAU basketball for New York Havoc and has competed in the Nike EYBL. Shields averaged 11.1 points per game playing on the prestigious Under Armour Circuit.

FRIARS IN THE POSTSEASON… The Friars last appeared in the postseason during the 2018-19 campaign. Providence’s 2019 WNIT selection marked the program’s 15th post-season appearance overall and first since 2010. In 2019-20, NCAA and WNIT Championships were canceled to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Friars did not qualify for postseason during the abbreviated 2020-21 campaign.  Complete post-season breakdown follows (records in parentheses):

2018-19 WNIT Round of 16 (2-1)

2009-10 WNIT Quarterfinal Round (3-1)

1991-92 NCAA Tournament First Round (0-1)

1990-91 NCAA Tournament Second Round (1-1)

1989-90 NCAA Tournament East Regional (1-1)

1988-89 NCAA Tournament First Round (0-1)

1986-87 National Women’s Invitational Tournament (1-2)

1985-86 NCAA Tournament First Round (0-1)

1981-82 EAIAW Regional Tournament (0-1)

1980-81 EAIAW Regional Tournament (0-1)

1979-80 EAIAW National Tournament (3-1)

1978-79 EAIAW Regional Tournament (0-1)

1977-78 EAIAW Regional Tournament (1-1)

1976-77 EAIAW Regional Tournament (2-2)

1975-76 EAIAW Regional Tournament (1-2)

FORMER FRIAR JOVANA NOGIC ’19 HEADED TO OLYMPIC GAMES WITH HER NATIVE SERBIA… Former Friar Jovana (Yoyo) Nogic ’19 will play in the Olympic Games this summer with her native Serbia. Nogic and the Serbia National Team earned their spot in the Paris games during 2024 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belem, Brazil on Feb. 8-11. Nogic was a two-time All-BIG EAST selection for the Friars and finished her career ranked fourth all-time in scoring (1,724 points). She is the program’s most prolific shooters, setting records for career three-point field goals (323), single-season three-point field goals (93), career free-throw percentage (.909) and single-season free-throw percentage (.945). Nogic also finished her career ranked third all-time in the BIG EAST Conference in three-point field goals during regular-season league play (167). The Olympic Games in Paris are scheduled for July 26 – August 11.


WHAT’S NEXT… The Friars will travel to Queens, N.Y. on Saturday, Feb. 24 to take on St. John’s in BIG EAST Conference action. The Friars and Red Storm will tip-off at 2:00 p.m. in Carnesecca Arena.

First appeared on friars.com

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