The Providence Friars used stifling defense and strong shooting to defeat the Wagner Seahawks by a final score of 76-54 on Saturday afternoon. The Friars used a tremendous 31-0 run over a 12 minute span in the first half to extend the early gap. They led 45-20 at the half and did not let up over the second frame.
The Friars were led by their usual suspects on this snowy afternoon. Jalen Lindsey led the scoring with 16 points (3-4 3FG) and eight rebounds while Kyron Cartwright contributed 11 assists. The junior guard’s leadership on both sides of the ball has been a large reason for the Friars’ strong start this season. Rodney Bullock had one of his quieter performances of the season, but still posted eight points and nine boards.
Today’s game was just another example of how this year’s Providence squad is different than any of Ed Cooley’s past. Over the last few seasons, Cooley’s teams have been led by the likes of Kris Dunn, Bryce Cotton, LaDontae Henton, and Ben Bentil. Lacking depth and scoring distribution has been a trend for recent Providence teams. But looking at the Friars’ last four games will show you a completely different story. Sporting four different leading scorers across that span, it is clear that Cooley’s team doesn’t rely solely on one or two guys. With defense and depth leading the way, the Friars are an all around team that continue to improve heading towards Big East play later this month. Ed Cooley has to be happy with his team’s progress over their 9-2 start.
Providence stuck with their strengths once again, letting defense and quick paced play lead the way. The Friars forced Wagner into shooting just 33% from the field. The Seahawks also had 20 turnovers.
With Kyron Cartwright’s court vision being on display once again, the Friars’ rim running style was effective per usual. Providence cashed in 22 assists compared to the Seahawks’ eight. Cartwright’s long, 3⁄4 court passes to running big men caught Wagner off guard on multiple occasions, and continued to be a successful move for Ed Cooley. The Friars’ transition offense will be one of their strong suits as they move towards conference play. Providence also took advantage of their size and depth advantage, scoring 30 points in the paint in addition to 31 bench points.
The Friars improve to 9-2 while Wagner falls to 3-6. Providence looks to remain undefeated at home this Tuesday versus the Maine Black Bears.
Now might be a good time to remind you that the Friars were picked to finish 9th in the Big East.