PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Vincent Council, the only senior on the Providence roster, scored eight straight points to key a second-half charge that led the Friars to a 75-66 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday night in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Providence, winning its first postseason game since an NIT win in 2003, will host Robert Morris, which upset defending national champion Kentucky the previous night, either Sunday or Monday. If it is Sunday, the Friars will have to move the game to the University of Rhode Island because of the United Cheer and Dance Nationals at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
The Friars (18-14) erased a seven-point second-half deficit but trailed by two when Council had his personal run. He then got help from fellow guards Bryce Cotton and Kris Dunn to subdue the 49ers (21-12).
Cotton finished with 25 points, while Council had 16 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Dunn added 14 points, nine rebounds six assists and four steals. LaDontae Henton had 13 points and nine rebounds.
E. Victor Nickerson led Charlotte with 14 points. The 49ers lost eight of their last 12 after then-leading scorer DeMario Mayfield was suspended Jan. 30 and dismissed Feb. 22.