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Providence holds on for win against Davidson

The Friars have a chance to finish fifth in the Maui Invitational

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Providence v Southern California Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Providence Friars survived a rocky second half for a 63-62 win over the Davidson Wildcats Tuesday night at the Maui Invitational

At first, it looked like it would be a walk in the park for the Friars, taking a 19 point lead over the first 12 minutes of the game behind a strong effort from David Duke and Jared Bynum, who combined for 17 points over the stretch.

The goodwill was short lived, though, as the Friars failed to hit a field goal over the final six minutes of the half and saw their lead evaporate all the way down to 35-31.

Luka Brajkovic opened the second half with a three for Davidson, bringing them within one, and it seemed like it would be more of the same and they would keep up the performance they put on until the end of the first half.

Then, Providence just kept answering. Despite getting within a point multiple times in the half, the Friars never let the Wildcats take the lead.

Not to say Davidson didn’t have their chances. With 17 seconds left, Bynum missed the front end of a one-and-one. Davidson rebounded and pushed the ball up to Hyunjung Lee, who seemed to have an open layup, but missed it. AJ Reeves got the rebound, was fouled, missed the front end of another one-and-one, but Davidson’s final shot fell short as Providence survived.

Nate Watson had a big game for the Friars, leading the way with a game-high 22 points. Bynum and Duke added 14 and 13, respectively. Something Providence struggled with against Indiana was getting multiple offensive players going, which they were able to do against Davidson. The issue now is getting them to play a complete 40 minute game.

The Friars return to action Wednesday evening against either UNLV or Alabama.