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Providence falls in Amherst to UMass

The Friars take what you could call a bad loss.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Rhode Island Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Providence Friars is now 0-2 in true road games this year following their latest loss. The Friars’ trip to Amherst didn’t go so well, as they took a 72-63 loss on the chin to the UMass at the Mullins Center.

Although standout senior Rodney Bullock put up 15 points, and though Jalen Lindsey had 11 points and went 50 percent from the field, the rest of the group couldn’t muster much. They had three players score nine points (Makai Ashton-Langford, Drew Edwards, Isaiah Jackson) but the rest got five or less.

They were held to just 43.6 percent on 2-point tries and 33.3 percent on 3-point attempts. What’s worse is that they only made 55 percent of their 20 free throw attempts, and were held to under 1.0 point per possession.

UMass didn’t fare much better, but they performed brilliantly inside. They shot 20-29 on 2-point tries, with three players shooting 80 percent or better from that area. Star sophomore Luwane Pipkins continued his torrid run of late. Pipkins dropped a game-high 30 points and shot 12-16 from the field and 2-2 from the line.

It’s Pipkins’ second game of 30 points or more, having dropped 34 in a win over Western Carolina earlier this season. It’s also his eighth outing in double figures and third effort of at least 25 points.


WHAT WE LEARNED

Houston is now must-win for Providence

The best win for the Friars so far is their 20-point dub over the Boston College Eagles. That win, of course, was helped in large due to BC’s upset victory over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday. But, apart from that, Providence’s resume at this point is lacking. They have one stiff test remaining: The Houston Cougars, who they’ll play in Uncasville on December 20. If the Friars want a quality nonconference victory, they now must win that game after taking this hit.

Providence sorely missed Kyron Cartwright

It’s easy to say, of course, but the Friars definitely missed their star point guard on Saturday. As good as Ashton-Langford will be some day, it was clear that there’s still a ways to go, at least when it comes to scoring (He did have six assists in the game as well as four steals and two blocks). Which is okay. But, Kyron definitely is on another level than him right now. And without him in the lineup, the Friars certainly suffered.

Luwane Pipkins is a stud

Seriously. Thank goodness no team in the Big East has to cross UMass again. Look out for him, A-10. He good.