Dec. 29, 1997

    Providence Beats Cleveland Handily 72-60


    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Providence's Jamel Thomas scored 15 points Monday as the Friars defeated the Cleveland State Vikings 72-60.

    The Friars (5-4) led most of the game, capitalizing on Cleveland's low 36-percent shooting in the first half. The Friars also had an advantage in free throws, making 17 of 25 compared to Cleveland's 8 of 11.

    The closest the Vikings (3-6) came to catching up was at 6:24 in the first half when they tied the score 9-9 with Michael Bowens' dunk.

    Providence responded with a 25-9 streak in the next 10 minutes.

    Cleveland State's leading scorer, James Madison, scored 15 points. He sank two straight 3-pointers late in the first half to help trim the Friar lead to 38-24 at halftime.

    Cleveland State outscored the Friars 36-34 in the second half but they were never able to cut the lead below 10 points.

    Theo Dixon scored nine of his 13 points in the second half. JoVonn Jefferson also had eight of his 10 points in the second half.

    Other Providence players in double figures included Llewellyn Cole with 14 points, Kendrick Moore with 11, and Justin Farley with 10.