Nov. 25, 2013
ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. - The Providence College Friars earned a 71-63 win over La Salle in the second round of the Paradise Jam on Sunday in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Tyler Harris led the Friars with a game-high 22 points and he also added nine rebounds. With the win, the Friars advance to the Championship game on Monday night versus Maryland at 10 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
The Friars fell into an early hole in first half as La Salle came out with a lot of energy and attacked the Friars zone. The result was a quick 10-0 hole for the Friars who did not score until sophomore Josh Fortune (Hampton, Va.) nailed a jumper four minutes into the game. However, the Friars went to man-to-man defense and slowed down the Explorer offense. PC finished the half with a 30-26 lead. Senior Kadeem Batts (Boston, Mass.) was impressive for the Friars, scoring 11 of his 18 points to fuel PC's offense in the first half.
The second half was Harris igniting the offense. He scored 19 points in the final 20 minutes, including a 9-9 performance from the free-throw line.
"We all come together at the end of the second half to close out the win," sophomore forward Tyler Harris said. "I was able to have success on the offensive end as we worked to exploit the mismatches with their smaller guards. I was able to use my size and length."
PC's lead grew to 13 points in the second half with 8:54 remaining. Then La Salle went on a run that cut the deficit to just one point, 59-58, with 3:34 remaining. However, junior Carson Desrosiers (Windham, N.H.) tipped in a rebound to put the lead back to three points (61-58, 3:34) and it never got any closer over the remainder of the game.
"We played a very good team tonight," Head Coach Ed Cooley said. "They had three outstanding guards and their big guys are tough. Our guys grew up a lot tonight as they had to fight back from that early deficit and foul trouble. Tyler Harris was big time. Kadeem Batts also had it rolling. It was a great team win and we are very excited to be playing Maryland in the Championship game tomorrow."
In addition to Harris and Batts scoring in double figures, senior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) scored 11 points.
Jerrell Wright and Tyreek Duren each had 16 points to lead La Salle.
With the win, the Friars moved to 6-0 and will attempt to reach 7-0 on Monday for the first time since the 1988-89 season.
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