Marist (0-3) at Providence (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dunkin' Donuts Center (12,400) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: FS2. Home Record: Marist 0-1, Providence 2-0. Away Record: Marist 0-2, Providence 0-0. Neutral Record: Marist 0-0, Providence 0-0. Conference Record: Marist 0-0, Providence 0-0. Series Record: Providence leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Providence Friars continue a four-game homestand to begin the 2013-14 season, as they play host to the Marist Red Foxes in non-conference action at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Providence has certainly shown resolve in posting two straight narrow victories to begin the season, topping Boston College in overtime (82-78), followed by a win over Brown (73-69). The win over the Bears tied a Providence record for consecutive wins at home against non-league foes, now standing at 28 games. Ed Cooley is hoping his Friars can set a new standard with this game.
Jeff Bower's Red Foxes are still in search of their first win on the year, opening up with three straight losses to Stony Brook (71-55), Elon (75-48) and most recently, Saint Joseph's (81-62).
This marks just the second time that these teams have met on the hardwood. Providence won the only other meeting, a 70-59 decision in 1988.
Chavaughn Lewis did his best to lead by example at the offensive end for Marist against Saint Joseph's, going 9-of-20 from the floor and leading all scorers with 26 points. Jay Bowie chipped in with 11 points as the only other Red Fox in double figures. The team as a whole struggled to find a rhythm, shooting just .393 from the floor overall, including .240 from behind the arc (6-of-25). In addition, the Red Foxes were beat up on the glass, getting outrebounded 47-26.
Lewis has been a one-man show offensively for Marist, shooting .462 from the field, while averaging a healthy 17.7 ppg. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any support in terms of scoring, as Bowie ranks second on the team at a distant 8.3 ppg. The Red Foxes will need to shoot the ball better if they are to compete. The team is suffering from a -20.7 scoring margin on the year, averaging a mere 55.0 ppg, while allowing 75.7. Rebounding has been problematic as well, with a -8.4 rebounding margin.
Providence is averaging 77.5 ppg through two games, but is doing so on a modest .408 shooting. With a veteran core led by seniors Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts and junior LaDontae Henton, there is an expectation of more. Cotton leads four starters averaging double figures, with 17.0 ppg. Henton is a close second at 15.0 ppg and completes a double-double with 10.5 rpg. Batts (13.5 ppg) and sophomore Tyler Harris (12.5 ppg) round out the top scoring threats.
In the win over Brown, Harris led the way with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Batts registered a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Henton added 15 points. The Friars shot just .391 in the game, a number hampered by Cotton's struggles, as he was an ugly 2-of-12 from the floor.
Cotton won't have extended spells of poor performance, so expect a turnaround quickly. The Friars are simply the better team at both ends and should distance themselves from the Red Foxes in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Providence 77, Marist 58
11/16 10:42:52 ET