Council leads Providence over New Hampshire 67-52

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) When New Hampshire stormed out of halftime with an 11-3 run to earn its first lead Tuesday night, 34-32, it looked like the game might slip away from Providence.

But Vincent Council made sure that didn't happen. Council scored eight points in 1:21 to stop the run and put the Friars back on top for good in their 67-52 win over New Hampshire.

''He had a cape on, became Superman,'' said Providence coach Ed Cooley. ''He's playing at a really high level.''

Council finished with 17 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, but he said the eight he scored in a row were the most important.

''I had to take over as a leader,'' Council said. ''My teammates saw that we had to pick up the tempo.''

Gerard Coleman scored 20 points, and LaDontae Henton finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Friars.

Patrick Konan scored a career-high 17 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Wildcats (4-5). Alvin Abreu scored eight of his 13 points in the first half.

''(Konan) is a versatile kid,'' said New Hampshire coach Bill Herrion. ''Abreu had a very good first half. But to beat a team of this caliber, you've got to be clicking on all cylinders, and we just weren't.''

Bryce Cotton added nine for the Friars, but no one else on New Hampshire scored more than six.

The Wildcats shot just 31 percent (18 of 58) from the field and 24.1 percent (7 of 29) from behind the arc.

Providence got out to a 16-7 advantage midway through the first half, but New Hampshire reduced the lead to 22-20 when Konan hit the Wildcats' third 3-pointer in less than 4 minutes.

Forward Kadeem Batts, who started every game for the Friars last year but had been suspended all season for academic reasons, scored five of his nine points in the final 5 minutes of the first half.

''I was going to sit him until he paid restitution,'' Cooley said. ''Today, we let him out of jail.''

With Batts back, Providence outscored New Hampshire 36-17 in the paint.

It was all Providence after Council answered the Wildcats' spurt coming out of halftime. The Friars, now 7-0 at home, outscored New Hampshire 35-18 after the Wildcats' only lead.

Henton, who came into the game averaging 17.3 points and nine rebounds over the last six games, scored all 11 of his points in the final 5 minutes to finish with his third double-double of the season.

''If you're going to beat a team of this caliber,'' Herrion said, ''you've got to do it for 40 minutes.''

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