Despite sloppy play on both sides, the Providence Friars managed to remain undefeated at home as they held off the UMass Minutemen Saturday afternoon, winning by a score of 75-69.
PC was led by Rodney Bullock (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Emmitt Holt (18 points, 6 rebounds). Kyron Cartwright continued his strong quarterbacking of the offense with 12 assists.
The Friars used a strong second half, including a 14-2 run to pull in front of the Minutemen by 16. UMass slowly crept back into the game and cut the deficit to three with two minutes remaining, but Holt’s four straight points and Bullock’s free throws closed the door on the comeback.
The Friars struggled to defend Rashan Holloway underneath. The big man posted 21 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes of play. This was expected as Providence lacks the size to defend a 6-11, 320 pound center. UMass’ drive-and-kick offense slowly transitioned to a post-centric formula that relied heavily on Holloway’s efforts on the block. Without him, Providence’s mid-second half run would have put the game away much earlier.
UMass will be kicking themselves after they look at today’s statsheet. The Minutemen went 9-18 from the charity strike to go along with 19 turnovers. These numbers don’t lie, sloppy was the theme of UMass’ play today. They fall to 6-3.
After a slow start, the Friars offense got into a nice rhythm. With Kyron Cartwright driving and dishing, Rodney Bullock and Emmitt Holt were often left with open looks. When Cartwright can penetrate and get to the hoop, Providence’s offense works in a much more efficient manner.
Kalif Young had his second strong showing in a row for the Friars. As he continues to improve, the freshman will be looked at more and more to contribute and help Holt underneath.
The Friars improve to 8-2 and now look towards Wagner next Saturday afternoon.