Befitting a rivalry that spans 127 games over 94 years, Providence College and the University of Rhode Island put on a show for a packed house of 12,246 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Wednesday night. Providence withstood a furious URI rally in the last two minutes of the game, escaped with a 68-60 victory, snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 7-3 on the season.
URI suffered its fifth consecutive loss to Providence and slipped to 5-3 this season. The Rams made only 12 of 22 free throws, and those misses may have cost them the game.
Guard Chris Dunn led Providence with 22 points and nine rebounds, even though he sat for a for a while with four personal fouls. He settled the outcome when he stole the ball with 11 seconds to play and took off for a dunk.
Tyler Harris scored 17 points, LaDontae Henton 15 and Paschal Chukwu nine off the bench. He outscored the URI bench (five points) all by himself.
E.C. Matthews played a great game for the Rams. The sophomore scored 27 points, his season high, and grabbed three rebounds. Hassan Martin added 12 points and five rebounds.
Providence led at the half, 31-26. The lead changed hands early in the second half, but an 11-0 run sparked by PC’s zone defense helped the Friars build a nine-point lead. PC led by 12 points with just under eight minutes to play.
Rhode Island rallied for a 10-3 charge that made the score 63-60 with 4:44 to go, but PC scored the last five points, the last two on a Dunn’s pick and dunk.
The Friars lead the series, 71-56.