Northwestern, Providence face off in battle of unbeatens

Northwestern Basketball

A pair of unbeaten teams meet in the second semifinal doubleheader of the Roman Legends Classic as Northwestern takes on nonconference opponent Providence on Monday night in Newark, N.J.

Northwestern (4-0) used a complete effort to cruise to an 82-46 win over Farleigh Dickinson on Thursday. Ryan Young led the way with 20 points off the bench while Pete Nance contributed a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Nance has been a one-man wrecking crew thus far for the Wildcats, averaging team highs in scoring (18 points), rebounding (8.5) and blocks (2.2). Northwestern has scored at least 80 points in all four of its wins.

“As a senior, I think it’s just four years of experience helps a lot,” Nance said. “There’s only so many plays and so many things that can happen, and I feel like I’ve seen a lot of it before just from being on the floor.”

Providence (4-0) escaped with a 69-58 win over New Hampshire on Thursday behind Al Durham’s game-high 19 points and Nate Watson’s 17. Noah Horchler added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Friars.

The Friars took the lead for good at 45-43 on Durham’s layup with 14:20 remaining and shot 55.1 percent (27 of 49) from the floor. The win gave Providence its first unbeaten start through four games since the 2015-16 season.

“The difference in the game was our defensive intensity,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “I thought a lot of different guys contributed.”

Watson is averaging a team-leading 19.2 points while Horchler has averaged nine boards a game to pace the Friars.

Providence holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series against Northwestern. However, the Wildcats were 72-63 winners over the Friars in their most recent meeting on Nov. 13, 2019 in Evanston, Ill. The Friars are 32-31 all-time against Big Ten opponents.

–Field Level Media

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