The absence of Kris Dunn was too much for Providence to overcome on Sunday night, dropping a 79-65 decision to third ranked Kentucky at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Friars knew that they would have their hands full Sunday night without Dunn, forcing Bryce Cotton into the point guard role.
It worked early on, with Cotton igniting a 22-10 Friar run late in the first half to tie the game at 35-35. During that run, Cotton scored three three-pointers and netted 13 points.
Thanks to Cotton, Providence trailed by a slim 39-35 margin at the half.
However, Providence’s injuries and suspensions really caught up with them in the second half.
Lacking depth at the moment, Providence struggled to keep up with a quick and long Kentucky team down the stretch.
In a 40 point second half, the Wildcats shot 68.8 percent from the field and finished the game at 64.3.
Cotton led all scorers in the game with 23 points, including-five three pointers.
Tyler Harris and Josh Fortune each chipped in with 10 points, while Kadeem Batts, confronted with the tall task of battling with Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein down low, had eight points and also collected eight rebounds in the game.
James Young led the Wildcats with 18 points, shooting an efficient 5-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the line.
Cauley-Stein was dominant in the paint for Kentucky with 15 points, nine blocks, and eight rebounds.
The Friars (7-2) will now face Rhode Island on Thursday, as they look to get back on track. That game will tip at 8:00 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.