PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Providence made only 26.5 percent of its shots, but it was enough to take down visiting Southern University 59-53.
Gerard Coleman led the Friars (4-0) with 21 points and 11 rebounds, his first career double-double. LaDontae Henton added 11 points and seven rebounds for Providence.
Providence shot only 5 for 26 from the field in the first half, but its 19 free throws made, along with an 11-2 run to close the half, helped the Friars go into the break with a 30-21 lead.
The Jaguars (1-3) gradually closed the gap in the first few minutes of the second half, eventually tying the game 38-38. After Friars point guard Vincent Council drove the lane for a layup with 2:14 left to give Providence an eight-point lead, Southern never again threatened.
Michael Celestin paced the Jaguars with a career-high 18 points, and Quinton Doggett managed 13 points and 10 rebounds.