PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Ryan Gomes scored 25 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and hit the game-winning jumper in the lane with 24 seconds left as Providence overcame a 13-point deficit to escape
with a 83-78 victory over Niagara in the first round of the
Preseason NIT on Tuesday night.
Providence trailed 74-61 with 8:15 to play, but the Friars went
on a 13-2 run capped by Tuukka Kotti's layup with 2:55 remaining
that made it 76-74.The teams traded free throws and Kotti sank one of two from the
foul line before Niagara committed three consecutive turnovers.
Providence was able to take advantage when Gomes converted from
just inside the foul line.It was the first time that Providence (1-0) has played in the
Preseason NIT. The Friars will face Pennsylvania on Thursday night
at home in the second round.Dwight Brewington scored a career-high 19 points for the Friars.Niagara (0-1), which finished 22-10 last season, lost for the
13th straight time to Providence and fell to 4-21 overall against
the Friars. The last Purple Eagles victory against Providence came
on Jan. 24, 1970.Juan Mendez led Niagara with 22 points and David Brooks added