Atlantic 10 men’s basketball notebook: Davidson hangs with No. 11 North Carolina

By Noah Bortle

(courtesy of UNC’s facebook page)

Friday night, No. 11 North Carolina eked out an 85-75 win over in-state opponent Davidson in a game UNC was expected to run away with.

UNC’s Luke Maye proved to be too much for the undermanned Wildcats to handle, scoring 24 points and 17 rebounds, putting up a double-double in the first half alone.

The underdog Wildcats (3-3) kept pace with the more talented UNC (8-1) for most of the game, due to 22 points from senior forward Peyton Aldridge.

Davidson controlled the game for much of the first half due to a hot start from the field and led 17-10 just over five minutes into the game.

But the Wildcats’ seven-point lead quickly evaporated thanks to a Tar Heel run that led to Davidson surrendering the lead and going into halftime down 43-37.

Jon Axel Gudmundsson and Kellan Grady also scored in double figures to keep the Wildcats competitive against the favored Tar Heels, tallying 19 and 18 points respectively.

Late in the second half, UNC stretched their lead out to an 18-point margin with 6:17 remaining, Davidson would eventually close the gap to 10.

UNC’s Joel Berry II paced all scorers on the night, putting in 27 points on 8-15 shooting. Berry also added four assists with only a single turnover to round out what was an efficient offensive night for the senior guard.

Davidson used hot 3-point shooting to stay close the entire night, shooting a blistering 42 percent from behind line compared to the Tar Heels’ 25 percent.

The Tar Heels dominated the Wildcats on the glass, outrebounding them 54-23 overall.

Rhode Island tops Providence 75-68 in front of sold out crowd

The defending Atlantic 10 tournament champions Rhode Island took down in-state rival Providence at home on Saturday in Kingston, Rhode Island.

The sellout crowd of 7,959 fans – the second largest in Ryan Center history – was on-hand to witness the Rams first victory in the rivalry in seven years.

URI (5-2) freshman guard Fatts Russell led both teams in scoring with 20 points and contributed five rebounds to the winning cause. This was the second consecutive game in which Russell scored 20 points.

URI led Providence (6-2) 42-31 at the half, but the Friars mounted a comeback in the second half, cutting the lead to just three points with 5:12 remaining

Turnovers were Providence’s undoing late, as the Rams won the turnover battle handily, turning the ball over 11 times to the Friars’ 21.

The Rams held on to the lead down the stretch to win the game 75-68 thanks to a collection of clutch free throws late.

Rhode Island’s 6-foot-4 guard Stanford Robinson delivered an uncharacteristic 12 rebounds against the big Friar frontcourt to go along with his seven points on the night.

Alpha Diallo led the Friars in scoring, shooting 8-for-12 and 1-of-3 from behind the arc on his way to 17 points.

Makai Ashton-Langford also tacked on 12 points and six rebounds for Providence.

The win improved Rhode Island to 5-2 on the season, good enough to tie them with Saint Bonaventure for the best record in the A-10.

The Rams will look to continue their run of non-conference success before their A-10 battle begins later this month.

Noah Bortle can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @noah_bortle.