Providence was without Kris Dunn and Ryan Fazekas for this game and Ben Bentil started the game off as questionable but dressed. Ed Cooley was hoping now to use the big man but that all changed with the Friars looking sluggish. Cooley inserted Bentil with 5:15 left in the first half and the sophomore played every second the rest of the way until the final few seconds of the game. He finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds in 25 minutes.
Drew Edwards had a breakout effort in the second half. Edwards started the game 0/2 but got hot and went off for 17 points on 6/10 shooting, including 5/9 from 3-point range. Edwards came into this game averaging under 7 minutes/game and 1.1 points/game.
Rodney Bullock had a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Bullock got better once Bentil entered the fray, but he didn’t do much scoring in the second half. He did a good job cleaning the glass though. Providence outrebounded Bryant,
Jalen Lindsey got off to a horrendous shooting start but he managed to get it going and finished with 15 points on 5/12 shooting. Lindsey was active on the glass with 7 rebounds.
The key for Providence — aside from Bentil being able to give it a go — was balance on offense. Four Providence players scored in double figures. It was also a tale of two halves for the Friars. Cooley’s crew shot just 35.3% from the field, including 1/14 from 3-point range in the first half. The second half numbers look a lot better: 53.8 % and 7/14 from downtown.
Bryant hurt themselves in the second half with turnovers. After turning it over 8 times in the first 20 minutes, Bryant coughed the ball up 10 times in the second half. Providence scored 24 points off those 18 Bulldog turnovers.
The 10-1 and 15th ranked Friars return to action next Saturday after the final exam break and will take on Rider at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. That game tips at 8pm EST and is on FSN.