Providence 72, Rhode Island 57
LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts led Providence to a 72-57
nonconference victory over Rhode Island Thursday night.
Henton posted a double-double with 21 points and 17 rebounds for
the Friars (7-2). Batts overcame a Rams double-team to shoot 8 for
19 and finish with 23 points.
”I thought Kadeem and LaDontae were the best two players on the
floor tonight,” said Providence coach Ed Cooley. ”Between their
size and girth and athleticism . I really appreciate these two
After trailing 27-26 at halftime, the Rams (2-7) allowed two
Friars runs in the second half that put the game out of reach. One
minute into the second, Henton scored six points on an eight-point
Providence run for a 41-33 lead. The Rams cut the deficit to three
points, only to allow 10 consecutive points over the course of 4
1/2 minutes in the middle of the half.
Cooley said Henton played his ”best collegiate game.”
Providence dominated on the glass, grabbing 41 rebounds to Rhode
Island’s 28. The Friars’ 14 offensive rebounds doubled the Rams’
”I just tried to play hard and get to the board,” Henton
But Providence performed on defense as well, shutting down Rhode
Island’s outside shooting to allow only three treys in 18
Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley expressed particular
disappointment that Providence was able to disrupt his team’s
ability to hold onto the ball.
”We’ve been one of the best teams in the country in terms of
not turning the ball over,” Hurley said. ”It’s disappointing to
turn the ball over 20 times to a team playing a zone.”
The Friars, who have been playing with only six scholarship
athletes due to injury and ineligibility, had to contend with Bryce
Cotton’s jammed knee. Cotton, who has averaged 22.1 points per game
this season, played 39 minutes and scored 11 points.
”Cotton did an unbelievable job,” said Cooley. ”He dealt with
a lot of pain today.”
Between Cotton’s impairment and Vincent Council’s hamstring
injury that has kept him off the court for the past several weeks,
the Friars were missing their two strongest offensive
”Our players have done an unbelievable job,” Cooley said. He
added that if someone had told him the day Council was injured that
his team would be 7-2, he would have ”asked to have a sip of what
he was drinking.”
Several early Rams fouls brought the Friars to the bonus only 8
minutes into the second half. Providence capitalized going 18 for
19 on free throws.
In the first half, the Friars made 35.7 percent (10 of 28) of
their shots. Providence brought the ratio up to 44.8 percent (13 of
29) in the second half, shooting 70 percent over the first 7
minutes. The Friars’ final 40.4 percent (23 of 57) topped the Rams’
38.5 percent (20 of 52).
Providence set the pace throughout the opening half, only ceding
the lead twice for about 1 minute overall. Batts’ 10 points and
four rebounds carried the Friars in the first 20 minutes.
Jordan Hare led the Rams with 14 points, shooting 6 for 7. But
Nikola Malesevic, Mike Powell and Xavier Munford also reached
double digits, scoring 12, 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Cooley praised Hare after the game, calling the freshman ”a
special, special player.”