Game of the Night
#10 Providence Friars – 90, Massachusetts Minutemen – 66
Massachusetts was unable to get by Ben Bentil and the dominant Providence Friars when they came to visit on Monday night. The Minutemen struggled from the floor as they shot just 39% compared to Providence’s 49%. The Friars controlled the boards 38 to 27, and Ben Bentil pulled down 11 of those rebounds. Bentil was a force for the Friars as he scored 32 points on 11 of 16 shooting from the floor. Kris Dunn, one of the best players in college basketball, was a huge contributor for Providence as well, as he notched 14 points and tallied 12 assists. UMASS was led by Jabarie Hinds who scored 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Usual leading scorer Trey Davis added 14, and Donte Clark managed to score 9. Rashaan Holloway struggled to get anything going on the offensive end of the floor as Ben Bentil had no problem shutting him down all night. The freshman shot just 2 of 6 from the floor and only pulled in 2 rebounds. Massachusetts notably shot just 53% from the free throw line; you can’t expect to beat a top ten opponent with those numbers. The Minutemen fell hard in this one; they’ve now lost 4 of their last 5 games.
Providence goes into conference play with an astounding 12-1 record, their only loss coming to now #1 ranked Michigan State. The Friars’ next matchup will be one of the toughest of the season as they travel to face Butler on the road on New Years Eve. UMASS falls to 6-5 after this loss, but it will have one more chance to get a win on its resume before entering the conference slate of its schedule. The Minutemen will host Long Island next Tuesday before travelling to face La Salle.
Elsewhere in A10 Action
Southern Illinois Salukis – 65, Saint Louis Billikens – 52
Saint Louis dropped yet another home game as it was unable to top the visiting Salukis on Monday. The Billikens have now lost three straight home games and 6 of their last 7 overall. Needless to say, Saint Louis is in dire need of a win before heading into conference play. That win might not come so easy as it has to travel to play Kansas State on the road next Tuesday. The Billikens now sit at 5-6 on the season.
Southern Illinois has gotten off to a great start to the season as it now improves to 11-2. The Salukis will open conference play with a road game against Loyola next Wednesday.