PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Kadeem Batts scored 32 points and LaDontae Henton added 18, leading Providence to a 73-63 nonconference victory over Mississippi State on Saturday.
The Friars (6-2) started the game with a 13-1 run and never trailed. Batts scored six points during that stretch, during which Mississippi State (2-5) went 0-for-8 from the field.
The Bulldogs made it interesting late in the second half, going on a 13-0 run to narrow the Friars' lead to 66-62 with less than a minute to go. Providence, however, locked down the game by making seven free throws down the stretch, four by Henton.
Batts and Brice Kofane led the Friars' strong defensive effort, combining for six of Providence's eight blocks.
Wendell Lewis came off the bench strong for Mississippi State (2-5), scoring a career-high 16 points. But the Bulldogs shot just 35.9 percent (23 of 64), including 3 of 14 by Craig Sword.