The Providence Friars were anxiously awaiting the chance to redeem themselves after a tough loss to URI last Saturday. Surprisingly, the Friars did not seem prepared to take on the Brown Bears, their annual Ivy League opponent.
Brown showed up to play, and fed off of the hot shooting from forward Tucker Halpern, and guards Matt and Peter Sullivan who hit early threes giving Brown a 9-4 at the start of the half. Matt Sullivan finished with twelve points on 4-5 shooting from three point range.
Providence, who shot only 38.6 percent on the night, really struggled creating good shots and locking down Brown’s shooters defensively. Coach Davis quickly went to his bench and the team was fueled by transfer guard-forward Kyle Wright who quickly hit two threes bringing the Friars back into the game.
Capitalizing on their athleticism, the Friars opted for the full court press, which temporarily gave them a six point lead, but Brown refused to go away.
A Providence timeout with nine minutes remaining in the first half proved ineffective, as the Bears had a 33-31 lead with two to play before halftime. Once again, the Friars continuing their full court pressure, forced crucial turnovers, and went into the locker room up by four, 37-33.
The silent Dunkin Donuts crowd hoped this game would not finish as ugly as the loss against Brown that the Friars suffered back in 2006.
Luckily, whether it was Keno Davis or not, someone lit a fire under the team as they appeared hungry in the second half. Substituting a smaller lineup helped the Friars extend their defense which cooled Brown's shooters. Toughening up in the paint, Providence dominated the glass and finished with a +17 rebounding margin for the game.
With Jamine Peterson and others controlling the boards, the Friars were able to execute outlet passes and get into their fast break offense where they have shown confidence this year. Taking a seven point lead with fourteen minutes to play, the Friars never looked back as they clinched the victory 78-62, their sixth on the year.
The Friars travel to the nation’s capital Wednesday to take on the George Washington Colonials (6-1) before they return home to face Iona University at the Dunkin Donuts Center Saturday night.