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Providence soundly defeats Sacred Heart

The Friars can breathe a bit easier after Friday’s result.

NCAA Basketball: Houston vs Providence Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence Friars avoided their worst start through 13 games of a season since the 1999-00 campaign with their 89-75 victory Friday night.

The Friars pounced on the Sacred Heart Pioneers, earning a much-needed win after dropping three of their last five. With the win, they now sit at 9-4, avoiding an 8-5 start, which would’ve been their worst since a 7-6 start in the second year of the Tim Welsh era.

Pulling the proverbial sled was Rodney Bullock. Bullock put up 31 points in the victory, a season-high for the senior and his highest since putting up 36 against the New Hampshire Wildcats last November 30. Bullock shot 50 percent from the field, taking 24 attempts, but was just 3-10 from 3-point land. Bullock also added eight rebounds and committed only one turnover in 39 minutes.

Three others finished in double figures for the Friars. Isaiah Jackson, Kalif Young and Jalen Lindsey joined Bullock with double-digit outings. Jackson had 17 points, while Lindsey had 13 and Young put up 10. Jackson was especially terrific, shooting 4-6 from 3-point land, adding six boards adn assists, with no turnovers to speak of in 37 minutes. Lindsey had a mark of 4-9 from the field, 3-7 from the perimeter, no turnovers as well and six boards in 33 minutes. Young was 4-5 from the field, had six boards, two assists and two blocks.

Kyron Cartwright did not play in Friday night’s contest. Makai Ashton-Langford stepped in for Cartwright at point, and while he amassed only a point, Ashton-Langford created, dishing out eight assists and picked up five boards as well. The freshman had a team-high four turnovers, but was still able to find ways to make life easy for his teammates.

All in all, Providence can breathe easy at 9-4 with conference play coming up. They’re granted no favors, with the St. John's Red Storm at Carnesecca coming up first and then a matchup in Omaha against the Creighton Bluejays. They’ll now get the next five days to recuperate before they dive in head first. But thankfully, an up-and-down nonconference season is finally over for the Friars.