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Nov 20, 2022 6:26 am

Providence hopes for improvement vs. Saint Louis

Providence and Saint Louis will look to get back on track Sunday after losing for the first time this season when they meet in the consolation game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn.

The Friars (3-1) couldn’t complete a comeback bid and lost to Miami 74-64 while the Billikens absorbed a 95-67 throttling by Maryland in Saturday’s first-round action.

Providence cut a 12-point halftime deficit in half just over 10 minutes into the second period, but Miami went on an 8-0 run for a 63-49 cushion with less than six minutes to play and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Bryce Hopkins scored 16 points — 11 in the second half — and Jared Bynum added 14 and Devin Carter 11 for the Friars, who shot 48 percent from the field over the last 20 minutes after struggling with 36 percent shooting in the first half.

“We have a great opportunity in this tournament to improve,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “We will get better and more mature as the year progresses.”

The Billikens (3-1) trailed all the way in their 28-point beatdown from Maryland. The Terrapins jumped to a 10-2 lead and led 51-27 at halftime. While the Terrapins shot over 50 percent in each half, the Billikens shot only 25 percent in the first half and finished at 36.2 for the game.

Maryland also held a 13-5 advantage in 3-point baskets as the Billikens made only 25 percent of their 20 flings from long distance. The Billikens came into the game shooting 28-of-73 (38.5 percent) on 3-pointers for the season.

“Teams are going to try to take that away from us. They know we can shoot,” Saint Louis coach Travis Ford said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We scored a tremendous amount of points in the paint against Memphis (on Tuesday), and you’ve got to take what the defense gives you. Maryland did a great job taking away the three and taking away the rim.”

Javonte Perkins, who missed the 2021-22 season because of a knee injury, led the Billikens with 17 points.

–Field Level Media

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