Friar Basketball

Slow Starting Friars Roll Over Fairfield Late, 66-47


Buoyed by a 17-0 run early in the second half, Providence won comfortably over Fairfield, 66-47, as the short-handed Friars won for the second game in a row to improve to 4-2 on the year.

Bryce Cotton led three Friars in double figures, scoring over 20 points for the fifth time in five games (21), while PC got a lift from Lee Goldsbrough who finished with nine points and eight rebounds in a game Providence never trailed in.

Providence survived an ugly first half offensively (25 points on 37% shooting) thanks to a defense that held Fairfield to 17 in the opening 20 minutes.  If not for a 10-1 advantage on the offensive glass in the first half the Friars could very well have been trailing at the break.  PC found their offensive footing in the second, shooting 63%, with Cotton scoring 14  of his 21 points after the intermission.

Down to six scholarship players, and one very scrappy walk-on in Ted Bancroft, it was the sheer effort of this team that struck Ed Cooley, “The first thing I want to say is how hard our kids played.  We were down numbers and it really showed today.  I’m so proud of our kids’ effort.  Every game our kids have come out and exceeded what I consider a good effort level.”

The Stags were the first team since Vincent Council went down with a hamstring injury to force the issue 94 feet against the Friars, and they were effective early in disrupting Providence’s rhythm, mainly by getting the ball out of Cotton’s hands at times.  The result was occasionally sloppy ball handling by the Friars who turned it over 17 times on the night, yet they were able to compensate by taking 16 more free throws than Fairfield, making 12 of them.

While Cotton carried the load offensively, Providence got more production across the board, with Goldsbrough’s nine, a foul-plagued Kadeem Batts pitching in nine of his own, to go along with double figure nights from Josh Fortune (10 points on 4-8 shooting) and LaDontae Henton (15 points, 8 rebounds) as well.

For the time being Cooley will have to continue to squeeze production out of this group.  After the game Cooley said they are still closely monitoring Kris Dunn, who sounds as if he may be closer to a comeback than Council at this point, yet still a few weeks away.  Word at the arena was that Dunn may be cleared to practice with contact within the next week.

In regards to Council, his hamstring is “still very sore, swollen and bruised” according to Cooley, and it’s becoming more and more apparent that Sidiki Johnson won’t get a waiver to play in any part of the first semester, as Cooley noted that the power forward is still a few weeks away from returning.

So, for the time being Providence will continue to forge ahead with this group — one that Cooley seemed more than proud of after they won for the the fourth time in six games against his former club.

Craig Belhumeur caught up with Cooley after the game:

Email Kevin at

 ** Kofane photo courtesy of photographer Sam Burr **


  1. wtm97

    November 24, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Really like the post-game chats with Coach Cooley. They add a timely dimension to the game report. Catching updates and impressions straight from the coaching sidelines is very cool and much appreciated..

  2. Kevin Farrahar

    November 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks, WTM. We’re glad to add a new dimension that folks might enjoy.

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