Feb. 14, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. - The Providence College men's basketball team defeated the USF Bull, 76-66, in a BIG EAST matchup in Tampa, Fla. The Friars opened the second half with a 23-2 run. It enabled Providence to overcome an 11-point deficit to start the half and earn the win. Junior Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.) scored a team-high 24 points, including 16 in the second half to lead the Friars.
In the first half, USF controlled the tempo for the majority of time. They were more physical than the Friars as they outrebounded PC, 19-12. Victor Rudd returned from an injury to lead the Bulls with 12 points on a 5-8 shooting performance. As a team, USF shot 55.2 percent (16-29) in first 20 minutes of action. The Friars were paced by Batts and junior LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) as each scored eight points.
The Friar defense was suffocating in the second half as they limited the Bulls to just 30 points on 9-29 shooting (31 percent). The Friars also forced eight turnovers in the final 20 minutes of play. In addition to the 23-2 run, PC increased it to a 31-6 run with 7:45 left in the game as the squad took its largest lead of the game at 14 points (56-42).
Providence (13-11, 5-7) committed just six turnovers in the game which was lowest total for the season. PC also had an impressive 22 assists on 25 field goals and shot 51 percent (64 percent in the second half) for the game from the field. The Friars also made 21 of 25 free throw attempts (84 percent) in the game.
The win gave the Friars their third consecutive BIG EAST win and their third league road win of the season. It marks the first time since 2009 the Friars have accomplished each one of those marks. The victory also gave Providence its fifth BIG EAST win of the season. The last time the Friars won five or more BIG EAST games in a season was 2009.
In addition to Batt's 24 points, Henton had 19 points, junior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) scored 13 and senior Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 11 points. Council also had eight assists in the win.
Rudd led USF with a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
The Friars will return to action on Saturday, February 16 versus No. 21 Notre Dame Noon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
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