Rivalry night in the Ocean State means one thing: Providence vs. Rhode Island.
The Rams came into The Dunk in hopes of securing a key Q1 victory. Rhode Island showed up defensively, limiting the Friars throughout the night. However, PC suffocated Rhode Island, making the game an absolute slugfest and resulting in a lot of missed shots. Neither team shot above 40 percent for the night, with PC shooting 36 percent and Rhode Island going for 30 percent.
After 40 minutes, PC protected home court and won 59-50. Overall, Rhody performed admirably, but the Friars kept them at arms’ distance throughout the night, leading by double digits for most of the game.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Threes and free throws
Or lack thereof, for URI. The Rams shot 11 percent from behind the arc, which is almost always a recipe for disaster. A lot of these shots were open, but the ball was just not finding the bottom of the net. And shooting from the line wasn’t much better. As a team they shot 54 percent, including 3-8 between Jeff Dowtin and Fatts Russell. If they shot 65 percent from the line and just 30 percent from long range, they would have won this game.
PC was not exactly hot from distance either, shooting 38 percent. The Friars made exactly three more threes than Rhody, and that was the difference in the final score. Providence was only 60 percent from the line, showing that it was absolutely off on Saturday.
Fatts’ Off Night
It was not Fatts Russell’s night. The sophomore guard was ice cold from the field, scoring six points on 2-13 shooting, and was 1-5 from three, 1-6 from the line, and fouled out. The Friars keyed in on him and took him out of the game. In his 33 minutes of play, he only mustered two assists compared to three turnovers.
This is a night the sophomore will want to forget. He was rattled in this environment and will need to shake this off to become a reliable option for the Rams going forward in addition to Dowtin and Cyril Langevine. If the Rams are going to go anywhere in the A-10, they need him to step up under the lights. He will have a chance to do just that in a couple weeks when they go to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.
On the bright side, Langevine continues his great play, racking up another double-double. The big man once again proved his worth, leading the team in scoring with 18 points and coming down with 12 boards. He also shot 10-14 from the line which made him the only reliable free throw shooter for the game. If he keeps up this pace, he may well receive All-Atlantic 10 honors by season’s end.