PC Beats Fairleigh Dickinson On Weekend of Previously Scheduled URI Game

The Providence College men’s basketball team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson University, 79-67, on Saturday, Dec. 5 in Alumni Hall at Providence College. David Duke (Providence, R.I.) and Nate Watson (Portsmouth, Va.) were the bright spots for the Friars, scoring 28 and 20 points, respectively.

“I’m happy with the win,” Head Coach Ed Cooley said. “Hopefully we can make some adjustments moving forward.”

Duke made a mid-range jumper at the 19:23 mark for the first Friar points of the game. Brycen Goodine (New Bedford, Mass.) made the team’s first and only three-point basket with 16:26 left in the half. Providence was up 7-2 at the media timeout.

The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes. Watson scored twice and Alyn Breed (Powder Springs, Ga.) scored once ahead of the second media timeout. The Friars held the lead 15-10 with 11:33 left in the first half.

With 6:19 remaining, the Knights took the lead 22-20 after going on a 7-0 run. The Friars had made only one of their last nine shots while Fairleigh Dickinson had made five of their last six. Duke ended the Knights’ run and tied the game with a fastbreak dunk with 5:36 left.

Duke continued to fuel the Friars in a back-and-forth stretch of the game. The Friars went on a 7-0 run with 3:46 left on the clock. However, Fairleigh Dickinson kept it close. A dunk by the Knights’ Pier-Olivier Racine knotted the game up in the final seconds of the first half.

The score was 31-31 entering halftime. Providence shot 11-26 (42.3%) from the field, 1-9 (11.1%) from three, and 8-11 (72.7%) from the free throw line. Fairleigh Dickinson shot 12-25 (48.0%) from the field, 2-8 (25.0%) from three, and 5-8 (62.5%) from the free throw line.

“After halftime, we wanted to push the tempo and score off our defense,” Cooley added. “But the biggest adjustment we made was our approach in attitude.”

Duke got the second half started at the 19:37 mark with a layup to take the lead. Jared Bynum (Largo, Md.) added an and-one for his first points of the game at 17:43. With 17:17 remaining, the Knights took a timeout after Duke completed an alley-oop, assisted by Greg Gantt (Fayetteville, N.C.). The Friars led 40-33.

Going into the second media timeout, Duke had made six of his last seven field goals to keep the Friars rolling. A floater by Breed with 9:57 remaining gave Providence their first double-digit lead of the game. On the next offensive possession, Gantt completed an and-one at the 9:27 mark. The Friars held a 13-point lead, 60-47.

The Friars continued to struggle from beyond the three-point arc but still had control of the game. With 4:20 left, Noah Horchler (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) made his first bucket of the game. The score was 70-57 heading into the final media timeout.

Providence finished 27-52 (51.9%) from the field, 1-15 (6.7%) from three, and 24-29 (82.9%) from the free throw line. Fairleigh Dickinson finished 24-57 (42.1%) from the field, 5-19 (26.3%) from three, and 14-20 (70.0%) from the free throw line. Jahlil Jenkins, Brandon Rush, and Elyjah Williams combined for 40 points for the Knights.

The Friars controlled the boards, as well as scored more points off turnovers and points in the paint than Fairleigh Dickinson. Duke pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and Gantt registered a team-high five assists.

“[Nate Watson] and I have taken the lead in the last few games,” Duke said. “I think that’s just how the game has flowed.”

Up next, the Friars will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU as part of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle on Wednesday, Dec. 9. The game is set for tip-off at 5:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPNU.

Categories: Sports