Harris lifts Providence past Brown 73-69

BRENDAN McGAIR (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Tyler Harris scored 21 points, and short-handed Providence - playing without one injured starter and two suspended reserves - never trailed in holding off Brown 73-69 on Wednesday night.

Sophomore Josh Fortune delivered the shot of the contest, a 3-pointer from the right wing with 37.5 seconds remaining and the game tied at 66-66. Fortune had missed his previous four shots before taking a pass from Bryce Cotton and calmly hoisting what proved to be the deciding basket.

Sean McGonagill led Brown (1-1) with 21 points on five 3-pointers while Cedric Kuakumensah added 14 points.

Kadeem Batts contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds for Providence (2-0) while LaDontae Henton finished with 15 points.

Providence got off to a fast start, leading 20-4 seven minutes in after scoring 16 straight points. The Bears missed 11 of their first 15 shots and went to halftime trailing 44-30.

Brown did fight its way back after falling behind 46-30 in the early minutes of the second half. The Bears cobbled together to 28-12 run that was capped by two free throws by Kuakumensah to tie the game at 58-58 with nine minutes remaining.

After shooting 53 percent in the opening 20 minutes, the Friars went roughly six minutes in the second half without a field goal. All four of their points during that stretch came at the free-throw line.

PC's worries only grew after watching McGonagill nail a 3-pointer in front of the Brown bench. The shot provided the Bears with their first lead of the game 63-60. McGonagill came through with another timely three to snap a 63-63 tie with just under three minutes remaining before PC's Henton answered with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 66-all.

PC did not have the services of Kris Dunn for the second straight game. The sophomore point guard continues to be slowed by a shoulder injury that was sustained during the team's exhibition game earlier this month. In addition, the Friars faced the Bears without Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock. The two freshmen were suspended two days before Providence's season-opener against Boston College.

The Friars have now won 28 consecutive non-conference games at home.

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