The Providence College Friars got one over on their in-state rivals on Saturday night with a 74-72 win over the Rhode Island Rams that featured an unbelievable finish.
Tied at 72 apiece after a Jared Terrell jumper with six seconds to play, Kris Dunn sprinted down the court to try and pull the Friars out of the fire. His layup would not fall, but Ben Bentil cleaned up the missed layup and tipped the ball in right at the horn to give Providence the victory and, in turn, stun a raucous Ryan Center crowd in Kingston.
Bentil proved pivotal in the waning moments, having given Providence the lead with 39 seconds to play after a thunderous dunk. The sophomore forward finished with a game-high 23 points as his development continues on as one of Providence's many secondary options behind their superstar point guard.
Speaking of Dunn, the New London, Connecticut native finished his last trip to Kingston, Rhode Island with a bang. Dunn scored 15 points, grabbed five boards, dished out five assists, picked up three steals and had a block to boot.
Here's what we learned from this game:
1. Ben Bentil's breakout marches on
The sophomore forward got to the 20-point mark for the sixth straight game on Saturday night and has hit double figures in all but two contests in 2015. Many were suspecting the Wilmington, Delaware native to emerge this season and so far, those prophecies and declarations are coming into fruition. The 23 points Bentil scored were just a shade under his season high of 24 against the Evansville Purple Aces as it remains clear that Providence has a good one in #0 who will only be relied upon more as the season wears on.
2. Rhode Island is legit
To briefly step away from the BIG EAST, one major takeaway from this matchup is the play of the Rams. Despite the loss of E.C. Matthews, the Rams are going to be a threat in the A-10 with Hassan Martin, Kuran Iverson, Jarvis Garrett and Jared Terrell playing big minutes for this club. Iverson was held relatively in check by the Friars but the former Memphis Tiger been a huge contributor for them leading up to this game. It isn't a stretch to suggest that this win for PC will look pretty good by season's end as Rhode Island should find a fair share of success in the A-10 and beyond.
3. Free throw shooting provided the difference
Providence was outrebounded by Rhode Island on Saturday night and committed just one less turnover than their adversary. Additionally, the Rams outshot the Friars from the 3-point line. The difference in the game? Free throw shooting. Providence missed all but one free throw attempt all night, going to the line 13 times and making 12. The Rams went the exact same amount of times, but only were able to convert on nine of their free throw shots. And, Providence's FTRate was higher than Rhode Island's as well. PC allotted a FTRate of 23.6 percent. The Rams? Just 20.9.