PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Marshon Brooks scored 26 points to lead Providence over Central Connecticut State 92-57 on Monday night.
Brooks scored 10 of his points during a dominant second-half run by the Friars (6-1), which blew open what was to that point a close game.Providence led 38-37 at halftime and neither team led by more than four points in the first five minutes of the second half. Leading 47-57 with 15 minutes left to play, the Friars went on a 36-4 run over the next 10 minutes and led 83-49 with just under five minutes to go.The Friars shot 63.6 percent from the field in the second half (21 of 33), while holding the Blue Devils (4-2) to just 20 points after halftime.It was the fourth time this season Providence has held an opponent under 60 points.Gerard Coleman added 14 points and Duke Mondy had 12 for the Friars.Ken Horton scored 15 for the Blue Devils.With only one player listed above 6-foot-6, compared to five for Providence, Central Connecticut State lost the battle of the boards and struggled inside early in the first half.The Blue Devils fell to an 11-point deficit less than five minutes into the game. But a furious 16-2 run highlighted by some sharp passing from Central Connecticut State guard Shemik Thompson, who leads his team in points and assists, brought the Blue Devils back in the game at the end of the first half.The Friars made 12 of their first 16 shots from the field to open the second half, and a putback dunk by Brooks at 13:08 remaining restored Providence's double-digit lead.The Friars continued to hold the advantage in rebounds, 40-31, and blocks, 7-2, and with reserve players on the court for Providence, a botched uncontested dunk by Central Connecticut State's Chris Baskerville with 45 seconds remaining summed up the loss for his team.Providence now leads the Big East in total blocks and is second to Pittsburgh in rebounds per game.Providence starting forward Kadeem Batts, a redshirt freshman, left the game at 17:37 of the second half and did not return. Friars coach Keno Davis said after the game that Batts had "tweaked his ankle," but the coach did not sound very concerned about any drop in the 6-foot-9 forward's playing time."He'll have a day to recover," Davis said.