Providence guard Kris Dunn (3) celebrates getting a 3-point basket in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Hartford, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in Providence, R.I. Providence won 89-66. (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl)
Gretchen Ertl
December 02, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Toward the end of a close first half, Kris Dunn and No. 23 Providence took over.

Dunn finished with 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the Friars past Hartford 89-66 Wednesday night.

''He's very unique, a stat stuffer,'' Providence coach Ed Cooley said. ''He really gets us going when he plays with that high motor.''

Providence led 29-28 with 5:26 left in the first half before pulling away.

Dunn posted the second triple-double of his career. The junior point guard achieved the feat with 6:32 remaining with his 10th rebound.

Dunn exited with 5:17 remaining and the Friars comfortably ahead by 21 points.

Ben Bentil led the Friars (7-1) with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting while Jalen Lindsey added 15 points off the bench. Lindsey swished three 3-pointers in a row as part of an 18-0 run that closed out the first half.

A sophomore, Bentil opened a lot of eyes during Providence's three-game stint over Thanksgiving weekend at the Wooden Classic. He finished each contest with 20 or more points with the last two performances coming against nationally ranked foes Arizona and Michigan State.

''He's been as good as anybody in the country. It's just that he's been overshadowed by Kris,'' Cooley said.

Lindsey entered the game with four 3-pointers this season before hitting three in a row. He finished 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and also pulled down eight rebounds.

''I was shooting the ball with confidence because my teammates were finding me in the open spots,'' he said. ''You always want a fourth in a row, but I just felt good making shots.''

Jalen Ross led Hartford (3-5) with 21 points.

It was the first game between the New England schools.

''Overall, I thought it was a tale of two halves. We played real good basketball in the first 15 minutes, then they had three consecutive baskets in transition,'' Hartford coach John Gallagher said. ''I really like our team going forward.''


Hartford: The Hawks welcomed back leading scorer Pancake Thomas, who missed the last three games with a bruised knee. He shot 1 for 6 and scored six points. A transfer from New Mexico, Thomas came off the bench.

''We play next on Saturday and I wanted to make sure that wouldn't be his first time back,'' Gallagher said.

Providence: Dunn's first triple-double came against Big East rival DePaul on Jan. 29, 2015 (27 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists). He had a school-record 11 assists in the first half against Hartford. ... This was the fourth straight 20-point game for Bentil, who ranks second on the team behind Dunn in scoring.


Hartford plays at Dartmouth on Saturday.

Providence visits in-state rival Rhode Island on Saturday. The Friars have won five straight against the Rams, with two of those victories coming at the Ryan Center, the site for Saturday's contest.

''To me, (URI) is a game that should be played at the Dunkin' Donuts Center,'' said Cooley, who is 4-0 against URI. ''I think our wonderful state makes more about this game than there is. It's another game that's good for our fans. To me it's business.''

''The best atmosphere is at The Dunk. It's a road game and we have to do down there,'' he said.

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