Friar Basketball

The Season: URI Snaps the Streak

Cooley URI

Providence fans aren’t in a hurry to relive this one, but Rhode Island’s first win over Ed Cooley in seven tries ranks as a noteworthy moment of the 2017-18 season for a few reasons.

The game serves as a reminder of just how inconsistent the Friars were in the first semester. Blowouts over St. Louis and Boston College were mixed in with narrow victories against the likes of Rider and Belmont. The loss to URI came during Providence’s worst stretch of the season, as the Friars fell to the Rams, beat Brown in overtime, and then lost to UMass on the road.

Still, in the loss at URI there were encouraging signs from the underclassmen, and an opportunity to steal this one late, despite huge turnover problems in the first half.

What stood out about this one in hindsight?

  • Youth was served. On a night in which Kyron Cartwright shot 1-7 from the field and Jalen Lindsey took just two shots, Makai Ashton-Langford and Alpha Diallo shined. Ashton-Langford thrived in the breakneck pace of this one, scoring 12 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists, while Diallo was 8-12 from the field for 17 points with seven boards. Freshman Nate Watson made all four of his shots from the field for good measure.
  • 21 turnovers killed PC and ignited URI’s crowd, specifically late in the first half when a seven point Providence lead turned into a double digit halftime deficit.
  • Both Ed Cooley and Dan Hurley were assessed technical fouls.
  • As much as this one was remembered as an uphill climb throughout, Rhode Island started just 1-11 from the field. Providence led by seven mid-way through the first half, but a flood of turnovers came over the final ten minutes. PC trailed by 11 at the break.
  • Providence had its chances in the second half. After trailing by double digits for much of the second half, the Friars sliced the lead to three on three separate occasions late. With five minutes left, Diallo scored on a pretty spin, a Jalen Lindsey 3 with 3:45 to play once again cut the lead to three, and then Ashton-Langford hit a difficult shot in traffic at the 2:30 mark to make it 67-64. URI converted after Ashton-Langford’s score and never looked back.

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