FAST BREAK: RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE

Josh Fortune

Providence College pulled away from a scrappy Rhode Island College team to start the second half and recorded a comfortable 76-52 win. The game itself, however, was anything but comfortable.

• I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU GUYS. Against a Division III, scholarship-less team, Providence struggled throughout the first half and allowed RIC to hang around and take a halftime lead. Despite owning the boards and a size advantage at every position, PC shot poorly, handled the ball poorly and suffered from poor spacing in the halfcourt. "I was very disappointed in our approach," said Ed Cooley.

• GET BETTER SOON. Bryce Cotton missed this contest with a badly sprained thumb on his shooting hand. He wore a hard white plastic wrap and warmed up but did not play. Meanwhile, Kadeem Batts missed a week of practice with bursitis in his right shoulder and wore a black wrap. He played, but picked up two quick fouls which limited him to three first half minutes.

• WHERE ARE THEY? Most college teams typically feature two to four walk-ons. Providence has just one - Ted Bancroft. Certainly, a team as thin as the Friars, would benefit from additional walk-ons. Fortunately, Bancroft can play a little. Against RIC, he saw 18 minutes and as the game wore on, contributed to PC's cause. But it might not be a bad idea to scour PC's intramural league.

• Lee Goldsbrough towered over RIC's frontcourt and provided some production. While he passed up a few open midrange jumpers, he did pull down 12 rebounds and start to look for his shot a bit, hitting 3-6 including a three-pointer. With PC's depth issues, Lee will need to continue to contribute.

• Halftime provided a few interesting moments. With a minute to go until the start of the second half, the Friars were nowhere to be seen. Referee Mike Roberts commented that "someone must be getting their ass chewed out," and Rhode Island College coach Bob Walsh observed, "If Ed (Cooley) took his guys home, I'll take this score and be happy to put it in the books. Thanks for having us." RIC led, 25-24 at the half.

• One little known rule almost came into play as a result of Cooley's extended halftime chat with his team. Because the Friars did not emerge from their locker-room until just 55 seconds remained for halftime, by rule, PC should have been forced to start the second half with the five players who were on the floor at the close of the first half. As this was an exhibition game, PC was not penalized.

Josh Fortune overcame a tentative first half with a flurry of second half three pointers and finished with a game-high 22 points, after just three in The Opening stanza. Fortune impressed with his catch-and-shoot accuracy, which called into memory the style of former Friar great Joe Hassett. Most deep shooters need a dribble to set themselves before launching, but Fortune, like Hassett, has the ability to catch and fire. All of which caused Walsh, towards the end of Fortune's flurry, to beseech his defenders, "Will someone make him take a dribble? Just one dribble?"

• PLAYER OF THE GAME: Got to be Fortune. His shooting was eye-opening and like any shooter, when you're cold, you're cold, but when you get hot – watch out.

•OPPONENT PLAYER OF THE GAME: Number 3, Tahrike Carter popped a game high 15 points, including three threes, handled the ball well against Vincent Council and was a general pain in the butt, keeping RIC close until PC pulled away out of the gate in the second half.

• Recruit Shaquille Taylor took in the game… not an optimal game for a recruit to witness. But, hey, that's what smart phones are for.

• Ed Cooley sees great value in these exhibition games. "You can have scrimmages or you can have exhibition games," said Cooley. "I really like exhibition games. It allows you to get your guys in uniform and get them in real game-type situations. I'm a game guy. I don't think there's any substitute for getting out there and playing a real game."

• LINE OF THE GAME: "We've got more guys in sweatsuits than in uniform," said Cooley.

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