Mix of New Talent and Senior Leadership lead PC to 59-50 Rockfight Win over URI
The Providence College men's basketball team used a team-high 15 points from A.J. Reeves (Roxbury, Mass.) to defeat the Rhode Island Rams Saturday afternoon, 59-50. The game was played in the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence and improved Providence's record to 74-55 all-time versus the Rams.
The starting lineup of David Duke (Providence, R.I.), A.J. Reeves, Jimmy Nichols Jr. (Conway, S.C.), Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) and Kalif Young (Vaughan, Ontario) is starting to become a regular for Head Coach Ed Cooley as he used the lineup for the fifth-consecutive game Saturday afternoon. Over their last five games with this lineup they now hold a 4-1 record with their lone loss coming against Michigan.
Reeves led the starters with 15 points, four rebounds and a steal.
Rhode Island took a quick lead after a layup off the tip-off and a bucket in the paint before Providence used an 8-0 run to take a 10-4 lead.
Reeves welcomed himself to the Ocean State rivalry with a backdoor cut for a layup followed by back-to-back threes, one from the top of the key then a contested three from the wing off a dish from Duke.
Reeves scored eight of the Friars first 10 points to hold a 10-6 lead at the first media timeout (15:59).
The Friars defense held strong in the opening minutes, forcing contested layups and fadeaway jump shots. Nate Watson (Arlington, Va.) entered the game at the 14:42 mark and played a strong presence in the paint all game.
Watson finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, he shot 5-8 from the field.
Watson scored back-to-back layups in the paint over Cyril Langevine, Isaiah Jackson (Gainesville, Fla.) then hit a deep three from the left wing to increase their lead to 18-12 (11:42).
Young notched his second dunk of the game after setting a screen for Maliek White (Richmond, Va.) at the top of the key, Rhode Island's center trailed White leaving Young wide open for the slip pass and finish.
Fatts Russell converted a three from left wing later in the half to bring Rhode Island within four at the 3:46 mark, 27-23. Providence outscored Rhode Island 12-4 through the rest of the half, capped off by a three from Jackson on the left wing to give them a 12-point lead heading into the locker room, 39-27.
The Friars scored 21 bench points in the half compared to the Rams' two, Rhode Island shot just 44.4% from the charity stripe (4-9). Watson led Providence in the first half with nine points and three rebounds.
Reeves opened the scoring in the second half with a three from the right wing on the assist from Young.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first eight minutes of play, the teams combined to shoot 3-17 from the field. Providence's lone basket came on the Reeves three. Providence and Rhode Island both reached the bonus with more than 12 minutes to play.
Providence fought through a 4:46 scoring drought that the Rams capitalized on with a 7-0 run of their own. They brought the game within seven with 11:37 to play, 44-37. That marked the closest the Rams would get the remainder of the game. The combo of Reeves and Watson stopped the run, scoring back-to-back layups in the paint.
The Friars led 56-46 with 4:28 left in the game after Tyrese Martin hit Rhode Island's second three-pointer of the night. Rhode Island struggled from three-point territory all game long, shooting just 2-18 from behind the three-point line.
Free-throws defined the second half as both teams combined for a total of just 10 field goals. Rhode Island shot 10-17 from the free-throw line in the second half while Providence shot 11-21.
Up next Providence will travel to Boston College on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The game will be played in Chestnut Hill, Mass. with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. The game will be televised on ESPN2.