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After ‘learning experience,’ Providence seeks 2-0 start vs. Northeastern

Sportsnaut
Providence College coach Ed Cooley on the sidelines.
Credit: Kris Craig / USA TODAY NETWORK

Providence left room for improvement in its season-opening victory against Rider, and Providence coach Ed Cooley will be looking for a better effort from his team when the Friars battle visiting Northeastern on Saturday night.

Providence (1-0) lost eight players from a team that won the program’s first Big East regular-season championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 last season. On Tuesday, the Friars had to overcome a 15-point deficit to beat Rider, 66-65, in Providence.

Providence nearly squandered a 10-point lead in the second half.

“We’re happy to get the win against a very good team,” Cooley said. “It was a good learning experience for our team as we try to blend eight new guys into our squad. Our crowd was worth about six or seven points in the second half. We played an experienced, veteran team.”

Northeastern (0-1) opened its season with a 72-63 road loss against Boston University on Monday. The teams were tied 53-53 with 8:45 to play, but the Terriers closed the game with a 19-10 run.

Jahmyl Telfort, a 6-foot-7 junior guard, tossed in a team-high 26 points and grabbed a career-high-tying nine rebounds for Northeastern. Masai Troutman came off the bench to score 13 for the Huskies, who had five players make their collegiate debut.

“Most years you’re trying to get to your eight-player rotation,” Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. “This year I don’t want to do that prematurely, because guys are going to be getting better week by week and day by day. As always, we’ll use the nonconference schedule to get us ready for conference play, but even more so this year while we’re developing players to figure out who the top guys are going to be once we come to 2023.”

Kentucky transfer Bryce Hopkins, a 6-foot-7 forward, led Providence with 18 points and six rebounds against Rider. The Friars also received 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds from graduate student Ed Croswell.

–Field Level Media