Providence was looking for a real test against an ACC opponent on a neutral floor after playing three home games against teams from mid major conferences. That may have to wait until Sunday against Notre Dame as the Friars blew Florida State out of the building Saturday afternoon, 80-54.
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton credited Providence for executing and cited his team's slow start on defense. "I felt we were a step behind defensively," said Hamilton after the game. He also described their offense as "tentative".
The game started quickly for Providence early with Kris Dunn making plays on the offensive and defensive end. The Friars got off to an 11-0 start and it took Florida State nearly seven minutes to connect on their first field goal.
Florida State tried to mount a few comebacks in the second half but each time they would go on a mini-run Kris Dunn had an answer. Dunn had two highlight reel plays, one a score and one a pass, that brought the pro-Providence crowd to its feet.
Last time out it was Ben Bentil who had the best game of the freshman and today it was Jalen Lindsey's turn. The Tennessee native went off for 15 points on 5/6 shooting from behind the arc. Cooley said he was "proud" of Lindsey after the game and hoped his finger, which he dislocated a few weeks ago in practice, feels the same tomorrow as it did today.
Leading the Friars was LaDontae Henton who had 24 points on 9/16 from the field. "Henton was a handful for us," Hamilton said. Henton scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half including a fastbreak dunk from a Dunn no-look pass.
Providence will look to continue their undefeated streak to start the season when they take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow on ESPN2.