PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence men's basketball team overcame a double-digit second half deficit capped off by a pair of free throws by senior Rodney Bullock (Hampton, Va.) to defeat Stony Brook, 62-60, on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Freshman Nate Watson (Arlington, Va.) led the Friars with 15 points while junior Isaiah Jackson (Gainesville, Fla.) scored 13 points and had five rebounds.
Providence trailed 49-38 with 7:45 to play when Friars coach Ed Cooley turned to walk-on Tom Planek (Oak Park, Ill.) to provide a spark. Planek's presence in the full-court press changed the dynamic as the Friars quickly went on a 12-0 run to grab the lead.
Freshman Makai Ashton-Langford (Worcester, Mass.) got the run started with a pair of free throws and after four points from Jackson and a bucket by Bullock, Ashton-Langford finished a strong drive to pull Providence within 49-48 with 5:37 to play.
Senior Jalen Lindsey (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) put an exclamation point on the Friars spurt coming up with a steal and finishing at the other end to put Providence up 50-49.
Over the course of he run, the Friars were stellar defensively forcing five turnovers in a four-minute span.
The game was tied at 54 with less than 2:30 left, but Watson continued his already strong afternoon with a layup to push Providence in front 56-54.
Lindsey followed up by corralling a strong rebound before Ashton-Langford finished an old-fashioned three point play at the other end to give the Friars their largest lead of the second half at 59-54 with 1:47 to go.
The Seawolves responded as Jaron Cornish and Bryan Sekunda converted on consecutive trips to cut the Friars lead to just one.
A free throw by Bullock put Providence back up two, but a short corner put back by Tyrell Sturdivant evened the score with five seconds left.
The Friars quickly got the ball up the floor, and Bullock was fouled pulling after a Jackson miss with less than second to play.
Bullock stepped up to the stripe and calmly sunk both free throws to give the Friars the victory.
In the first half the Friars relied on Watson to carry the load offensively. The freshman center had a team high nine points on 4-for-5 shooting over the first 20 minutes to keep Providence within striking distance.
Providence grabbed an early 12-6 lead as senior Kyron Cartwright (Compton, Calif.) scored an early five points.
The Friars extended their edge up to eight, 19-11, on a three pointer from Jackson, but back-to-back three pointers by Jordan McKenzie and Sekunda quickly brought the Seawolves back within 19-17.
Moments later, Sekunda capped off an 11-0 run for Stony Brook with his second triple of the first half to put the Seawolves up 22-19.
Stony Brook's first half advantage got as large as five but Lindsey buried a three pointer off a feed from Cartwright to pull Providence within 31-29 at the half.
Up next the Friars head to Mohegan Sun for a matchup with Houston on January 20 with the tipoff scheduled for 7 pm on ESPNU.
- GO FRIARS -
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