UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Aaron Thomas led Florida State with 16 points and Montay Brandon had 13 points for the Seminoles but Providence defeated the Seminoles, 80-54, in the third round of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Friars scored five points in the first minute of the game and then jumped out to an 11-0 lead with 15:24 remaining before halftime.
Providence guard Kris Sunn had been waiting a long time for a homecoming game. He got the closest thing possible Saturday
And when Dunn headed to the bench with just over two minutes remaining in the game, the crowd showed its appreciation with a standing ovation for his 15-point, 9-assist performance that helped Providence (4-0) to a wire-to-wire victory over Florida State (1-2).
Dunn, a 6-3 sophomore, had the support of Friars fans in addition to family and friends from his hometown of New London, Connecticut — just about six miles away. Joined by teammates LaDontae Henton (24 points) and Jalen Lindsey (15 points), Dunn and the Friars jumped out to an 11-0 lead and were never forced to look back against the Seminoles.
Henton was 8-for-11 from the field and scored 19 of his points in the second half after Providence had bolted to a 34-19 lead at halftime. And Lindsey, who had been slowed earlier in the season by a dislocated finger on his shooting hand, hit four of his five 3-pointers in the second half to take care of the outside scoring.
“I thought we fed off the crowd,” Cooley said. “I thought we were playing at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (in Providence).”
A powerful dunk by Henton gave the Friars a 46-29 lead and forced Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton to call timeout with 13:18 left. The rest of the game was close to a highlight reel for Providence, with Dunn dishing off to Henton and Lindsey (5-for-6 on 3-pointers).
Henton opened the scoring with a 3-pointer and Dunn added a layup for the quick 5-0 lead. Henton’s 3-pointer at 19:34 was his only basket of the first half.
But Hamilton knew it wasn’t a good sign. “He just had one of those nights,” Hamilton said of Henton. “The first 3 he hit to begin the game, I looked at my (assistants) and said, `I hope there’s not a whole lot more of that coming.’ “