PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- LaDontae Henton and Bryce Cotton scored 18 points apiece and and Kadeem Batts added 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead undefeated Providence to a 70-49 non-conference victory over Vermont Monday night.
The Friars are 4-0 -- all at home -- to start the season and faces Vanderbilt Friday in the opening round of the Virgin Island Paradise Jam in St. Thomas.Henton added nine rebounds and Kris Dunn eight assists for the Friars.Luke Apfeld led the Catamounts (1-3) with 14 points, 12 in the second half. Clancy Rugg had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Vermont, which led 6-2 early before falling behind to stay 3:55 into the game.The win was the 30th straight for the Friars at home against non-conference opponents -- a school mark since the 1979-80 start of the Big East.Saturday, the Friars trailed Marist 6-4 before holding the visitors without a field goal for 12 minutes while going on a 37-2 run. Monday night, Providence was down 6-2 not two minutes into the game and held the Catamounts without a field goal for 13:22. This time it was a 24-2 run that broke the game open. Vermont hit two of its first three shots, then missed 15 in a row.The Catamounts scored only eight points over the final 18:03 of the half, shooting a woeful 4-for-25 from the floor, 2-for-11 from 3-point range and 4-for-10 from the foul line in the half.But Vermont came back at the start of the second half, going on a 10-1 run in the first 3:42, forcing Providence coach Ed Cooley to call a timeout. Whatever he said to his players worked -- the Friars then broke the game open for the second time. After the teams traded baskets, Josh Fortune hit a par of 3-pointers in a 13-0 run that gave Providence a 20-point lead.Dunn, the sophomore point guard who missed the first three games with a shoulder injury, came off the bench at the first media timeout and wound up playing 21 minutes. He assisted on a basket on his first possession and wound up with three points and eight assists.The Catamounts, who have at least 20 games each of the last five seasons and are the preseason favorites to win America East, was missing 6-9 sophomore forward Ethan O'Day, who missed his third straight game with a hand injury.