Coming off a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Thursday night’s Gavitt Games matchup, the Providence Friars returned to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center looking to pick up a win over the lowly Grambling State Tigers.
After making everyone sweat a little with a back-and-forth game for the first 14 minutes of the game, the Friars went on a 19-8 run to head into the half with a 39-26 lead. They never looked back, winning 71-54 to improve to 2-1 on the season.
The Friars were led in scoring by Rodney Bullock for the second time this season. After having a strong showing of 27 points against Ohio State, Bullock finished Saturday’s game with 18 points, recording double-digit scoring for the third straight game. Emmitt Holt also was in double figures for the third straight game with 17 points, and Jalen Lindsey bounced back from a rough outing against the Buckeyes with 10 points.
For Grambling, Ervin Mitchell had 13 points.
The Friars will remain home and face St. Francis Monday night before heading to the Emerald Coast Classic Thursday night.
Here are three things we learned from this game.
All offseason, everyone said how hard it would be for Providence to make up the loss of scoring from the departures of Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil. While it’s still a bit of a work in progress, Holt, Bullock, and Lindsey are developing more and more confidence on the offensive end.
Bullock and Holt have been in double-figures in all three games, while Lindsey has been in double-figures in two of the three. The Friars are still looking for an offensive identity, but they’re getting closer and closer to finding it.
Additionally, Kyron Cartwright had eight points and eight assists today. He now has 28 assists in three games.
It’s Not How You Start...
This one ties into offensive identity a bit, too. It would have been easy for the young Friars to get discouraged and remain sluggish throughout the entire game after their slow start.
They didn’t. They kept working on improving and getting better throughout the game.
Sometimes the games in which you’re heavy favorites can teach you just as much as when you’re heavy underdogs.
Nonconference Home Dominance
The Friars are now 39-1 in nonconference games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center under Ed Cooley.
For reference, prior to Cooley’s arrival in Friartown, Providence had multiple seasons under Keno Davis and Tim Welsh in which they lost more than one nonconference home game.
It’s just one of a number of stats that show how great Cooley has been at the helm of the Friars.