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Providence survives Pepperdine to break losing streak

The Friars avoided disaster to close out the Wooden Legacy

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Four-Providence vs Southern California Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence Friars bounced back from a rare three-game nonconference losing streak Sunday with an 80-77 victory over the Pepperdine Waves in their final Wooden Legacy game.

Just as was the case in their two losses this weekend, the Friars struggled to put together a complete game, going back and forth in the first ten minutes before grabbing a lead for the second part of the first half, and building it up until about five minutes left in the second half when Pepperdine got the lead down to five. By the three minute mark, the Friars led by just two. Clutch free throw shooting and offensive prowess from both David Duke and Alpha Diallo helped Providence close the book on the win, though, as the pair combined for the Friars’ final 11 points of the evening.

The big story of the day for the Friars was Nate Watson recording 15 points in 16 minutes of action, his most all season. As Watson eases his way back from an offseason knee injury, he could certainly be a vital piece for Providence. This is a step in the right direction.

AJ Reeves also finished with 15 points, tying his season high set on opening night. Reeves is also recovering from injury, and getting him going will be huge for the Friars. Diallo did a little of everything, scoring 13 points and recording nine rebounds and six assists, both team highs.

Colbey Ross led Pepperdine with 29 points.

Providence improves to 5-4 on the year and will be off until Friday when they head to Kingston to face in-state foes Rhode Island.