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Rhode Island vs. Providence 2016 final score: Friars defeat Rams 63-60

Cooley finds a way to top Hurley yet again.

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

The Providence Friars improved to 6-2 on Saturday by defeating the 21st-ranked Rhode Island Rams 63-60, marking their seventh straight victory in the historic Ocean State rivalry.

The Friars were led by point guard Kyron Cartwright (19 points and 8 assists) whose flurry of threes late in the first half kept Providence within striking distance. Jalen Lindsey’s nine second half points would help head coach Ed Cooley remain undefeated against the Friars’ in-state rival.

Providence faced a seven-point deficit with 11 minutes remaining until a Lindsey three cut the deficit to four. From that point on, it was a back and forth battle and the Friars would come out on top.

URI falls to 5-3 with their second straight loss and will most likely drop out of the Top 25 come Monday. Dan Hurley may need to reconsider allocating minutes towards Nicola Akele and away from Kuran Iverson. Akele was effective on both sides of the ball tonight while Iverson struggled mightily.

I’m no URI expert, but that’s my A-10 take of the day.

The Friars look to remain undefeated at home this season against Brown on Tuesday night in another in-state matchup.

3 Things We Learned

Kyron Cartwright, Rodney Bullock, and Jalen Lindsey will lead this team

Rodney Bullock once again helped pace the Friars’ scoring tonight with 17, but he didn’t score his first bucket until a free throw with three minutes remaining in the first half. Forward Nicola Akele was able to contain Bullock and thus hold him to a quiet first half.

Providence was able to keep the game close even without Bullock’s production, which is a great sign for Ed Cooley. Kyron Cartwright was able to step in and provide the first half scoring punch while Jalen Lindsey continued to play phenomenal defense for the Friars. If Providence wants to keep rolling, they’ll need these three to run the show.

Kyron Cartwright Can Shoot (?)

It’s clear Ed Cooley is looking for the point guard to get more shot attempts, but tonight was a different Cartwright then we’ve ever seen. Shooting 6-for-12 from the field (4-for-6 from 3) and at times sporting the swagger of pure scorer, Friar fans have to be intrigued and impressed by the new look of their offensive quarterback. In games where Bullock is not producing, Cooley and his staff can now be reassured that Cartwright is not a bad backup plan. Who knew he could shoot like that?

This team is STILL a work in progress

Providence looked great tonight against a nationally-ranked team and handled adversity well throughout the full 40 minutes. But Ed Cooley will be the first to tell you there’s still work to be done. The Friars struggled to defend Hassan Martin on the glass tonight, as the forward posted 17 rebounds in URI’s losing effort. In his first performance in front of a raucous Dunkin’ Donuts Center crowd, Kalif Young looked unsettled and overmatched underneath. Going forward the Friars will need him to step up as a sufficient backup for Emmitt Holt if they want to continue finding success.