Jan. 10, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence men's basketball team (12-6, 1-4 BIG EAST) knocked off No. 14/15 Louisville (13-4, 1-3 BIG EAST) by the score of 90-59 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Jan. 10. The 31-point win was the Friars' largest margin of victory ever over a ranked team. Previously, Providence had beaten then-No. 14/16 Holy Cross 90-64 on Jan. 18, 1978.
In the victory, four Friars scored in double-figures. Sophomore guard Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) led the way with a game-high 27 points including five 3-pointers. Cotton also was 10-of-12 from the free throw line, he entered the game leading the BIG EAST in free throw shooting at 91.4 percent.
Two Friars registered double-doubles in the game. Junior guard Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) registered his fourth double-double with 15 points and 14 assists. He also grabbed eight rebounds and was two assists shy of his career high. Sophomore forward Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.) posted his first double-double of the season as he scored a career-high 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Freshman LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) added 14 points.
Louisville entered the game leading the league in field goal percentage defense at 35.6 percent. That figured also ranked third nationally. In the first half the Friars shot 48.1 percent from the field. PC finished shooting 52.8 percent from the field and improved to 5-0 when shooting better than 50-percent.
PC held an early 25-19 lead with 6:51 left in the first half, the Friars closed out the frame with an 18-6 run to lead 43-25. The 18-point Friar lead was the largest halftime deficit the Cardinals have faced this season. In the first half, Henton scored the first nine points of the game for Providence and totaled 11 points on the half. Batts scored 22 points in the second half.
Louisville got no closer than 17 in the second half.
The Providence victory also marks the first time the Friars have defeated a ranked team this year. The last time the Friars defeated a ranked team was in an 83-68 victory over No. 8/7 Villanova at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Jan. 26, 2011. The Friars also beat then-No. 19/15 Louisville at home on Jan. 22, 2011.
At halftime, the 1987 Friars were recognized on the 25th anniversary of their run to the Final Four. Under the direction of then-head coach Rick Pitino, the Friars advanced to the Final Four in New Orleans. Pop Lewis, Delray Brooks, Jacek Duda and other members of the team were in attendance. In addition, Billy Donovan sent a video message that was played during the halftime. Jeff Van Gundy (a graduate assistant coach) also was in attendance.
The Friars are back in action as they travel to take on No. 1/1 Syracuse for the second time this season on Saturday, Jan. 14. The game will be aired live on Cox and ESPN3 and the opening tip is set for 6:00 p.m. The last time the two teams met, Syracuse defeated the Friars 87-73 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. on Jan. 4.
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