The perimeter game will be a focus when Providence hosts Belmont on Wednesday night. The Friars set a school record hitting 9-of-10 from 3-point range last game while Belmont set a school standard by hoisting up 43 shots from beyond the arc two games ago before attempting 27 in its most recent action.
Providence won the 2K Tournament title Friday night by blasting St. Louis 90-63 at Madison Square Garden in New York. In addition to shooting 90 percent from 3-point range, the Friars got 15 points from senior Rodney Bullock and 11 apiece from Alpha Diallo, Makai Ashton-Langford and Maliek White. Belmont has won four straight, including an impressive victory over Vanderbilt that started the run. The Bruins are the favorites to win the Ohio Valley Conference title.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT BELMONT (4-1): The Bruins’ only setback was a season-opening loss at Washington 86-82. Senior forward Amanze Egekeze leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game while Dylan Windler is second on the team in scoring (16.0) and leads in rebounding (12.0). Belmont’s victories over Vanderbilt 69-60 and Middle Tennessee 69-63 are regarded as perhaps the most significant in the program’s history at the Division I level.
ABOUT PROVIDENCE (3-1): In a matchup of common opponents, the Friars had 22 assists on 25 made baskets in the team’s 77-70 victory over Washington on Nov. 16. Providence is deep with 10 players averaging double-digits in minutes played and highly touted freshman Ashton-Langford, who shunned Connecticut to attend Providence, came off the bench to hit all five field goal attempts against St. Louis. Bullock leads the team in scoring averaging 12.3 points while Kyon Cartwright has 32 assists in his first four games.
1. The Friars’ only loss was an 86-74 setback at Minnesota.
2. Providence senior F Emmitt Holt is out indefinitely with an abdomen injury.
3. The Friars have connected on 31-of-57 from 3-point range for 54.4 percent, which led the nation through Monday’s games.
PREDICTION: Providence 88, Belmont 80