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Friars roll past Colgate with two new wheels

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


As the 2012 portion of the season comes to an end for the PC Friars, 2013 all of a sudden looks much clearer.

Adding a McDonalds' all-American and a 6-10 former Arizona Wildcat to your lineup will do that for you.

Behind 21 points from junior guard Bryce Cotton, and the collegiate debuts of 6-4 freshman Kris Dunn and 6-10 sophomore Sidiki Johnson, Providence withstood an early barrage of three-pointers from Colgate to beat the Raiders 79-45 Tuesday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Colgate (now 3-8) hit four of their first five shots from the floor - all of them threes - to take a quick lead in the opening five minutes.  Not once, but twice Friar coach Ed Cooley called timeouts to set his team straight.  They eventually got things right, especially on the defensive end...as the Raiders missed their next 16 shots from long distance before hitting their last two.

"In the first half, obviously we were a little rusty," Cooley said.  "In the second half, overall I thought we were really, really good in transition, offensively I thought we made open shots and shared the ball.  There were a lot of good players out there doing what they do best."

On the offensive end, PC ripped off a 17-2 run after falling in an early five-point hole to jump out to a 26-16 lead with 8:30 to play in the first half.  After Colgate pulled back within six, the Friars ripped off eight more unanswered points to grab a 34-20 advantage, and they were never challenged again.  Sixteen first-half baskets were the second highest total for the PC offense this season (19 vs. Bryant), while the defense extended to the Raider shooters and shut them down...hitting just seven of 26 over the last 15 minutes of the half.

The offensive production was defintely sparked with the addition of Dunn, who scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out a remarkable 13 assists in his first game of the season (27 minutes).  Dunn's shoulder surgery in the early fall caused him to miss the first nine games of the season, and the Friars were forced to play shorthanded in the backcourt.  

They're not so shorthanded now.  Johnson, who was required to sit out the first semester due to transfer rules, also played a big part with four points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in just 16 minutes off of the bench.  Cotton scored 13 of his 21 in the second half as PC opened with an 11-2 run in the opening three minutes to put the game away.  The Friar defense clamped down hard thereafter, holding the Raiders without a field goal for more than nine minutes, and eventually the lead grew to 40 (79-39) with 1:46 to play before the final score settled in at 79-45.

"I thought it was a good performance," Cooley added.  "I thought our size bothered them, in the interior, and we're looking forward to our first true road game up at Conte Forum (vs. Boston College Saturday).  I hope there are a lot of Friars in the building up there, because that's going to be a big game for us."

It'll be the next big game, because the first big game is now out of the way, with the two newcomers added to the lineup.  And the picture of what lies ahead for the Friars is now a little less fuzzy.

Friar Notes

The team wore dark green uniforms to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting last week in Newtown, CT.  Green and White are the schools' colors.  Nike produced the single-use suits and they arrived on campus Tuesday morning, with each jersey having "Sandy Hook" across their backs rather than the players' names.  Cooley told the radio audience during the pre-game show that the school plans to send 26 of the uniforms to the families of the victims in a show of support and remembrance...the school also blocked off 26 seats behind the student section with flowers and a sign of support...Providence connected on a season high 32 field goals, one more than they hit against Bryant...Colgate's night was indeed odd.  The Raiders hit five of their first six shots, then just 9 of their next 45, before connecting on five of their final seven with the game out of hand...the Friars pulled down a season high 48 rebounds (48-32 margin), 19 on the offensive end, and scored 16 2nd chance points...led by Dunn's 13, PC also had a season-best 25 assists...LaDontae Henton picked up his 5th double-double of the season (14th career) with 14 points and 10 rebounds...Josh Fortune chipped in 17 points and Kadeem Batts scored 10 points, pulled down seven rebounds and handed out a career best seven assists...Fortune played 37 minutes, the highest total on the team, but for the first time this year the Friars did not have a player play the entire first half, or the entire game...PC now leads the all-time series with Colgate 4-0, having last beaten the Raiders in 1995...Maine transfer Murphy Burnatowski and Angelina JC transfer Damon Sherman-Newsome each scored 11 to lead Colgate...Providence (now 8-2) will play its first true road game of the season Saturday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, MA against Boston College in a 2 pm tip-off (1:45 pre-game on 103.7 FM)...


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