Friar Basketball

PC Takes Down URI 72-57

URICover

Will Bryce Cotton play? A question that nearly everyone in tune with this matchup was asking prior to tipoff. Luckily enough for PC, Cotton was able to suit up for the Friars and gave Ed Cooley 39 minutes of play while contributing 11 points and 7 assists. In addition to his gutsy performance, Kadeem Batts kept his hot streak alive, scoring 23 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Tonight’s most valuable player, however, was sophomore forward, LaDontae Henton as he finished the night with 21 points and a game high 17 rebounds.

“I thought Kadeem and LaDontae were the best two players on the floor”, said Ed Cooley. “Between their size and girth and athleticism, I really thought that was the key to the game. I really appreciate these two horses.”

On top of Batts and Henton’s impressive performances, freshman guard, Josh Fortune contributed 17 points, 10 of which came from his 11 attempts from the free throw line. As a team PC shot 24 of 26 from the stripe. I caught up with Ed Cooley after the game and for more insight here is the video:

*Video correction – LaDontae Henton finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds not 17 and 17.

For URI, tonight’s matchup was head coach Dan Hurley’s first taste of the historic PC/URI rivalry. Rams’ freshman forward Jordan Hare, who came into the game averaging just 4 points per game, gave Hurley a career high 14 points. Ed Cooley remarked in the post game press conference, “Jordan Hare is going to be a special player, he has a ton of ability, he has a chance to be really really special.” Other players scoring in double figures for Rhode Island were, Mike Powell and Nikola Malesevic, each with 12 points and Xavier Munford with 10.

Entering the game tonight, PC’s defense has held every opponent to under 40% shooting from the field with the exception of UMass, and that toughness continued in this one. URI was held to 38.5% shooting, connecting on just 3 of 18 attempts from three point range. PC also forced a lot of URI turnovers which had Hurley shaking his head in his post game press conference, “We turned the ball over 20 times against a team that doesn’t use pressure and that just can’t happen.” Echoing coach Cooley on LaDontae Henton’s play, Hurley added, “the difference for them was Henton. He was just a man out there. I haven’t seen many performances where he just takes over and physically dominates a game with 21 and 17. That was some great stuff by him.”

PC’s next game doesn’t come until the 18th of December, when Colgate University will visit the Dunk’. That will give Bryce Cotton just under two weeks to get back to full strength and PC fans are hopeful that both Kris Dunn and Vincent Council will be able to rejoin the team then as well. It is also expected that Arizona transfer, Sidiki Johnson, will make his Providence debut on the 18th.

To add to the excitement leading up to the matchup with Colgate, Providence assistant coach, Brian Blaney, mentioned to John Rooke and Joe Hasset, that PC will have Sidiki Johnson and if others are cleared, by doctors or the NCAA, they would play too. Without any name dropping, this will certainly spark the next big question in Friartown – the possibility for a Ricky Ledo sighting.

Email Craig Belhumeur – craig.belhumeur@friarbasketball.com

 

 

 

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