PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Black Bears allowed 30 second chance points against Providence as the Friars controlled the glass, winning 94-70, at the Dunkin Donuts Center, in Providence, R.I. Saturday afternoon. The loss brings Maine into the Christmas break with a 1-9 record while Providence improves to 10-2.
The Friars controlled the Black Bears in the paint as Providence outrebounded Maine 46-23 in the losing effort, which is the largest rebounding deficit that Maine has had all season long.
Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts led the way for the Providence offense as they accounted for a combined 44 of the 94, Providence points. The duo both tallied 22 total points while Batts, went over the 1,000 point mark for his career with his effort.
As a team, Maine shot an impressive 50 percent but the defense allowed Providence to best that mark as the Friars shot 51 percent for the game.
Following an opening minute dunk by LaDontae Henton, Stefan Micovic, who started his third-straight contest, opened the scoring for Maine with a layup.
The Friars had a 6-2 run snapped by Dimitry Akanda-Coronel as he scored the next four points for the Black Bears, laying in a bucket and hitting two free throws to knot it up at 6-6, three minutes into the half.
A Pollard jumper snapped another mini-run by the Friars as Cotton nailed back-to-back treys to push the lead to 12-6, before Pollard made it 12-8 headed into the first media timeout.
Providence began to pull away midway through the first half as the Friars extended its lead to 21-10, before Maine mounted a comeback. Valjarevic led the way draining two trey's as Maine got it to 26-20, headed into the under 12:00 minute media timeout with 10:32 remaining in the half.
Following the break Providence retook control, highlighted by a Cotton trey as the squad jumped back out 31-20 with 9:15 remaining in the frame.
The Friars began to runaway with the contest with just under eight minutes left to go in the half as Batts drove down the court uncontested for a dunk that put him over the 1,000 point mark for his career and forced Maine to take a timeout with 7:24 left, down 39-24.
Providence closed out the half on a 17-9 run to take a 56-33 lead into halftime.
Maine struggled holding onto the basketball through the first half as Maine turned it over nine times as the Friars scored 18 points off of giveaways.
Providence picked up where it left off in the first half opening the second frame on a 10-6 run sparked by layups but Tyler Harris, Batts and a trey by Tyler Fortune.
Harris continued his strong play into the next media timeout going 4-for-4 from the field bringing his total to 16 points as Providence took a 79-52 lead into the under 12:00 minute media timeout.
From that point on Maine edged the Friars in scoring, recording 18 points to Providence's 15, but the deficit was too great as the Black Bears suffered their seventh consecutive loss, 94-70.
The Black Bears will now celebrate the holidays but will head back out on the road to compete at the Dr. Pepper classic in Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 29-30. The Black Bears will face Middle Tennessee State at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 and will either face Chattanooga o