St. Thomas, VI (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Harris scored 22 points as the Providence Friars held on for a 71-63 victory over the La Salle Explorers in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam at the Sports and Fitness Center.
Kadeem Batts added 18 points and Bryce Cotton finished with 11 despite hitting just 3-of-15 shots from the floor for Providence (6-0). The Friars will face Maryland in the championship round Monday night.
Jerrell Wright and Tyreek Duren each scored 16 points for La Salle (3-3). Tyrone Garland added 14 points and Steve Zack contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Explorers are delegated to a fight for third place with Northern Iowa on Monday.
Even though Providence hit only 35.5 percent of its shots in the first period, while La Salle knocked down 41.4 percent, the Friars led 30-26 at the break by holding a 9-0 edge in scoring from beyond the arc.
After the break the Friars improved a bit, hitting 40 percent from the field, but it was their 15-5 advantage from the free-throw line that allowed them to hold off the Explorers.
Providence blocked nine shots in the game led by six off the bench from Carson Desrosiers.