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Providence vs. Fairfield final score: Friars dust up Stags, 97-56

The Friars started off the year with an all-around great showing.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence Friars picked up their first win of the season on Wednesday afternoon.

The Friars soundly defeated the Fairfield Stags, 97-56, to move to 1-0 on the year. Providence’s victory was their 12th season-opening win in a row, and Ed Cooley improved to 10-0 in season openers as head coach of the Friars as well.

Providence got lots of contributions from just about everyone who took the floor. But the standouts in the game were the ones they needed most, as David Duke and Nate Watson led the charge. Watson scored a game-high 23 points, while Duke was second on the team with 18. They, along with A.J. Reeves (14), Noah Horchler (11) and Ed Croswell (10) combined to give the Friars five double-figure performances.

It was, needless to say, an all-around great performance offensively for Providence.

Watson’s 23 points were a career high for the big man. He bested several 21-point performances that he had put up as a sophomore, having not reached 20 points at all last season. So, it was a great start for the senior big man, who was on a mission to have a standout showing.

Duke, meanwhile, hit double figures for the 30th time in 66 career games as a Friar.

There was plenty of buzz about the newcomers for Providence, and they showed up in spades. Jared Bynum played tremendously, as he looked to fill the void left by Luwane Pipkins. His first showing was a damn good one, as Bynum dished out eight assists with no turnovers committed in 24 minutes. The former Saint Joe’s point man also picked up two steals on the afternoon as well. While he went 0-for-4 from the field, he went 4-for-4 from the FT line to finish with four points.

Additionally, PC got great contributions from Croswell and Horchler. They made an impact offensively in the points department and in rebounds, as well. The two combined to grab 15 boards, seven of them coming on the offensive glass. On the whole, PC was dominant on the glass, grabbing 42 rebounds, 16 offensively.

Not to be outdone, veteran Kris Monroe had an eight-point, three-rebound, two-assist and one-block showing. Monroe did all that while shooting 60 percent from the floor and committed zero turnovers in 14 minutes.

Providence is currently scheduled to play the Indiana Hoosiers on Monday.