Fatts Russell scored a game-high 20 points, 14 of which came in the first half, as Rhode Island held on for a 75-68 victory over Providence on Saturday in Kingston, R.I.
Rhode Island (5-2) stopped a five-game winning streak for Providence (6-2) in the 130th meeting between the two schools.
The Rams’ victory also ended a stretch of seven consecutive Providence wins in this series.
Russell, a freshman guard, helped carry the Rams’ offense in the first half. This was his second straight big game.
Russell scored 20 in the team’s last game, a win over Brown earlier this week — after posting a total of 19 points in the previous four contests.
Five Rhode Island players scored in double figures. Jarvis Garrett (15 points) and Andre Berry (12 points) also pitched in.
Rhode Island took the lead for good with a 15-point first-half run that gave the Rams a 35-23 lead. They held the Friars without a point for nearly 4 1/2 minutes.
Garrett sparked Rhode Island in the second half. He scored at key times as the Rams held off a late Friars’ push as Providence cut the lead to three on three separate occasions.
A jumper by Garrett with 2:29 left gave Rhode Island a 69-64 lead. The Rams eventually stretched the lead to 72-64 in the final minute, clinching the victory.
Alpha Diallo topped Providence with 17 points and played a big role in the Friars’ second-half rally.
The Friars also did not help things by making 21 turnovers and hitting just 10 of 21 free throws. On the other side, the Rams made 20 of 23 free throws with only 11 turnovers.