BY MIKE RILEY
It’s always nice to win your season opener.
Now Providence hopes to keep things in perspective as the Pioneers turned back Indianapolis Metropolitan 59-40 on Saturday at the Larkin Center.
Providence never trailed after an early 3-pointer by Brock Hayden gave the Pioneers a 9-6 advantage.
Providence built their advantage at every stop, building the lead to as much as 19 points, which was the final margin.
“We’re going o have to work really really hard,” Providence coach Lou Lefevre said. “This was a battle of two inexperienced teams. Both teams made some nice plays, both also made a lot of mistakes.
“Question: Where do we go from here?”
With two young inexperienced teams — yes, you guessed it — defense, or the lack of was obvious.
“A lot of these guys are trying to do the right thing,” Lefevre said. “But we have a lot of freshman and a lot of first time varsity players.
‘I thought we hit the boards well. We got a lot of offensive boards and a lot of second chances. And we passed the ball well in trying to get a good shot. We did play as a team.”
Providence did win the boards 40-28 with Grant Goad grabbing a game-high 10 to give him a double-double as he also had 13 points. Nick Hayes led Providence with a game high 18 points. Nine players reached the scoring column for Providence.
There were also a lot of fouls called. Fouls that are typical when two young teams meet. Providence made only 13 of 25 free throws while Metropolitan (0-2) made 10 of 16.
Vincent Love led the Pumas with 15 points and eight rebounds.
“We had four players in foul trouble tonight,” Lefevre said. “We’re young, and I’ve got some guys that played football that aren’t in basketball shape yet. I’m not known for playing a lot of players, but I had to go to the second row of the bench tonight.”
Providence will hit the road for their next two games — at Austin next Friday and Madison on Saturday.
“Tonight, whether we won by 10 or lost by 10, we’re the same team. We played a young team. We’re still who we are,” Lefevre said. “We are going to have to work hard and have the right attitude. Will that be enough? It remains to be seen.”
PROVIDENCE 59, INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN 40
Metropolitan 13 6 13 8—40
Providence 15 14 13 17—59
Metropolitan (0-2): Kennan Brown 5, Vincent Love 15. Rasonte Smith 4, De’Andre Huskie 6, Robert Whitley 8, Da’Shawn Dickerson 2.
Providence (1-0): Grant Goad 13, Ben Shahroudi 4, Brad Koermer 4, Nick Hayes 18, Daniel Schuler 6, Brock Hayden 8, Parker Graf 1, Dawson Mitchell 3, Griffin Libs 2.
3-point field goals: Metropolitan 0; Providence 2 (Hayden, Goad).
Rebounds: Metropolitan 28 (Love 8); Providence 40 (Goad 10).
Free throws: Metropolitan 10-16, Providence 13-25.
Fouled out: Metropolitan — Huskie; Providence — Juston Betz.
JV: Providence 45-34.