Alpha Diallo scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Providence outlasted visiting Holy Cross 70-61 on Tuesday.
The Friars led 59-57 with 6:16 to play but used a stifling defense and patience on offense to pull away. Nate Watson had a free throw and two dunks in a 7-0 Providence run that pushed its advantage to nine points with 1:56 remaining, and the Friars were able to do enough down the stretch to salt away the game.
Watson added 15 points, and David Duke hit for 10 for Providence (2-1), which outshot the Crusaders 45.8 percent-36.1 percent and owned a 40-35 advantage on the boards. Kalif Young also took 10 rebounds for the Friars.
Holy Cross (1-2) was led by Jacob Grandison’s 17 points. Caleb Green added 13 points for the Crusaders, who shot just 27 percent in the second half.
The game was tied at 20 after a layup by Watson with 8:34 to play in the first half. Holy Cross then scored 10 of the ensuing 12 points, with the run capped by jumper by Green to build a 30-22 advantage with 3:14 to play before the half.
The Friars got a 3-pointer from Maliek White with 5 seconds left to cut the deficit to 37-33 at intermission.
Grandison led all scorers with 12 points over the first 20 minutes of play. Diallo paced Providence with eight points in the first half; the Friars outshot Holy Cross in the half but also committed 10 turnovers over the first 20 minutes.
Providence tied the game at 48 on 3-pointer from Duke with 12:51 to play. That basket was part of the Friars’ 20-2 run over the middle of the second quarter that netted them a 57-48 lead with 9:16 remaining.
Holy Cross roared back, pulling to within 59-57 at the 6:16 mark on a 3-pointer by Green.
Holy Cross returns home to face Stony Brook on Friday while Providence continues its seven-game homestand to open the season when it hosts South Carolina on Saturday.
—Field Level Media