If Providence needed a must win in their nonconference part of the season, this was definitely that game. The University of Rhode Island has been Providence's little brother for the majority of their rivalry. This is game was different though. Both teams have NBA prospects on them such as LaDontae Henton (Providence), and E.C. Mathews (URI). Both teams have also revitalized their programs with new inspirational head coaches in Danny Hurley and Ed Cooley. Danny was able to recruit top one hundred recruits like Jared Terrell to lead their climb to the top of the A10. This game was a perfect match to get the Friars back on track and if they win the rest of their no-conference games, they should be confident going into their Big East regular season.
Wednesday's win can mostly be credited to Kris Dunn. Kris has come along way since the beginning of the season and over the past few games, he looks like the Friars best player. He has played with confidence and tonight he had his best game of season with 22 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. Kris also had a steal at the end of the game that resulted in a wide open dunk which sealed the game for the Friars, along with the team's last five points. If Kris stays healthy and plays with confidence, he is better than any point guard in the Big East. NBA scouts probably have noticed that he plays like Rajon Rondo with a better jump shot.
E. C. Mathews' back must hurt from carrying the whole URI team for forty minutes. He had his best game of the season so far, and finished with 27 points and shooting sixty percent from the field. E.C. was the player for URI that made shots to keep them in the game, with an exception to Jared Terrell's three pointer at the end of the game to cut the Friar lead to four. E.C. had the game he needed to play for the Rams to win the game but his supporting cast just did not produce.
LaDontae Henton has struggled since his 38 point outburst, and he could not buy a bucket in the first half of the game. He finished with 15 points, but the surprise player of the game was definitely Tyler Harris. A big factor to the Friars three game losing streak was Tyler not being very involved in the offense. When Tyler is on his game, the Friars are really hard to beat. He finished with seventeen points and had his best offensive performance since the first game of the season. Another surprise stand out was seven foot freshman Paschal Chukwu. He had nine points and this was the first game where he played a significant role. Tonight's game should be a huge confidence booster for him and if he can provide eight oints a game, he can help the Friars offensive presence along with his outstanding defensive ability.