UC-Providence LIVE blog

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Live from 5/3:

Before the game, there was a little FT competition between Anthony Buford and former Providence star Dickey Simpkins, both of whom are analyzing tonight's game for TV. Buford made four FTs in 30 seconds; Simpkins made 5. This will have no impact on the game tonight. But I thought you should know anyway.

FASHION ALERT: Mick and his coaching staff come out in khakis and black short-sleeve windbreakery type things with sneakers (Coaches vs. Cancer and all that). Mick is wearing gray long sleeves underneath his shirt. The Friars coaches are sporting suits and sneakers. Again, no bearing on the game.

Starting lineup: Ibrahima Thomas, Yancy Gates, Rashad Bishop, Deonta Vaughn, Cashmere Wright. No Lance Stephenson.

After Jamine Peterson hits a 3 to start the game, Wright answers with a 3 of his own.

After Providence follows with two more 3s - Sharaud Curry and Brian McKenzie - Mick takes a timeout. Replaces Thomas with Darnell Wilks. Of course, Wilks then doesn't block out McKenzie, which leads to an easy rebound/layup.

Wright scores the first seven points for UC. Then Bishop with a short jumper and a 3.

Providence makes 6 of its first 7 shots.

Providence 16, UC 12 (15:19 to go)

Gates airballs his first FT, and he can't help but smile. Perfect on the next. Toyloy in for Gates. Still no Stephenson.

Providence has hit its first 6 3s of the game. Also making 9 of first 10 shots. With about 13 minutes to go, the Friars finally miss a 3.

Stephenson finally in the game with 14:31 to go in the first half.

Providence 24, UC 18 (11:49 to go)

Brian McKenzie picks up his second foul with 11:24 to go. He'll go to the bench. Thomas picks up No. 2 59 seconds later. That's probably not the worst thing in the world. He has not been good so far. Then, with 9 minutes to play, Wilks gets foul No. 2 . He stays in the game.

Remember when Cashmere Wright got off to that really good start? He's been on the bench forever.

Couple nice shots by Wilks, and Stephenson finally gets on the board with a left-handed layup. Bearcats have cut the lead to 1, forcing a timeout from the Friars. A Stephenson 3 ties the game.

UC is shooting 68.8 percent from the floor. Providence is 57.9 percent from the floor; 70 percent from the 3.

UC 30, Providence 30 (7:55 to go)

UC takes its first lead on a nice dish from Wright to Bishop for the layup.

Crazy sequence: Bishop has a chance to extend the UC lead to 5, but blows an absolute gimme dunk. Then, transition to the other end where Duke Mondy buries a 3 to tie the game again.

Wright and Bishop lead the way with 10 points a piece. Peterson has 10 for Providence as well.

Providence 40, UC 37 (2:59 to go)

After making its first six 3-pointers, Providence misses 7 of its next 9.

UC, meanwhile, contiunes to remain hot from the floor. A turnover by Providence and a layup by Wright gives UC a one-point lead.

Gates called for an offensive foul for swinging his elbows. He can't believe it and the crowd goes crazy. I don't understand. Looked pretty blatant to me. A layup from Peterson gives Providence the lead again.

Wright with two FTs. He makes one with 4 seconds left. A missed 3 from Council means the Friars missed eight of their last 10 threes of the half.

Wright has 13 points, and Peterson has 14. Providence is outrebounding UC 17-16. But not a whole lot of missed shots to rebound. The Friars are 50 percent from the floor. UC is 51.5 percent.

UC 44, Providence 44 (half)

No Gates to start the second half. Instead, it's Toyloy. I guess 0 for 2 from the floor with 1 point will keep you on the bench to start the second half. Stephenson also starts the second half next to Mick.

A 3 by Peterson ends Providence's slump from the 3, but Vaughn hits one on the other end.

Peterson picks up foul No. 3 with 16:02 to go. He heads to the bench.

But the Friars continue to hang around, and Kyle Wright rebounds a miss and makes the layup as Gates fouls him. A free throw upcoming.

Providence 54, UC 53 (15:45 to go)

Stephenson makes his first second-half appearance 5:57 into the half.

You know who we haven't seen tonight? Dion Dixon.

If UC can't pull out this game, that would be a bad, bad loss.

Providence 60, UC 59 (11:58 to go)

A great drive and shot by Wright. He's been really, really good today.

All of a sudden, Providence in sloppy with the ball, and the Bearcats are making the Friars pay. UC goes on a 13-0 run. After a Wright 3-pointer, another timeout for Providence.

UC 70, Providence 60 (9:16 to go)

Gates picks up his fourth foul with 8:54 to go.

UC 73, Providence 63 (6:54 to go)

UC, of course, playing very well, so this is nit-picking (though not really). The FT shooting has been abysmal (7 of 19). The Bearcats should be leading by 17 or 18.

UC 75, Providence 65 (3:58 to go)

A Dion Dixon sighting. After Stephenson tried to dribble through about 300 Friars players before ultimately turning it over. Mick taps Dixon to get into the game.

Really, a heck of a job in the final 12 minutes of the game. For a minute there, it looked like UC was out of it. But then, the Bearcats defense started forcing turnovers and Wright and Bishop continued to play so well on offense. A much-needed win for the Bearcats.

Wright obliterates his 12-point career high with 24 points. Bishop has 16 and six rebounds. Stephenson gets 12 points and nine rebounds.

UC outrebounds Providence 38-33.

But geez, how bad was UC's FT shooting? I'll tell you how bad - 48.8 percent bad. The Bearcats were lucky to escape with the win.

UC 92, Providence 88 (final)

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