Providence can’t look past Central Connecticut before league play

NCAA

Nate Watson will lead a red-hot Providence team into its final nonconference tuneup as the Friars host Central Connecticut State on Saturday afternoon in Providence, R.I.

Watson and A.J. Reeves scored 24 points apiece to help Providence outlast Vermont in a 68-58 win on Tuesday. The win was the Friars’ fourth in a row and ninth in 10 games to start the season.

Following its game against Central Connecticut State, Providence will gear up to face No. 15 UConn on the road in its Big East opener on Dec. 18.

Seven of the Friars’ first 10 games have been played at home. After this Saturday’s game, two of the team’s next three games are at home, with the lone road game being the trip to nearby Hartford, Conn.

“It seems like we’ve been here for a long time. It’s been great playing at home,” Friars coach Ed Cooley said. “Hopefully our players are getting comfortable as we have one more nonconference game.”

Central Connecticut State (2-7) will look to keep building positive momentum as the Blue Devils seek their third win in five games.

The Blue Devils had won two of three after dropping five straight to start the season before suffering a 67-45 blowout loss at New Hampshire last Saturday.

Nigel Scantlebury had 15 points and five rebounds and Ian Krishnan scored eight points to lead Central Connecticut State, which shot just 31.4 percent (16-of-51) from the floor in defeat.

Despite giving up 40 points in the opening half, Central Connecticut State held New Hampshire in the low-40s from the field (41.4 percent shooting; 24-of-58) and 29 percent shooting (9-for-31) from 3-point distance for the game.

“We’re always preaching defense,” Blue Devils guard Davonte Sweatman told the Bangor Daily News earlier this season.

Scantlebury, who averages a team-high 12 points, was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 20 points over two games. He scored a career-high 25 in a 73-67 win over Holy Cross on Dec. 1.

-Field Level Media

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