Providence snaps 2-game skid in outlasting pesky Merrimack

Ed Croswell scored 17 points to lead four double-figure scorers as Providence pulled past visiting Merrimack 71-57 on Wednesday night in Rhode Island’s capital city.Croswell was 7-for-10 from the field and scored 10 first-half points to help the Friars (4-2) curb their first two-game losing skid since February 2021.Noah Locke scored 14 points, Bryce Hopkins added 13 and Devin Carter recorded his first double-double of the season with 12 and 10 rebounds.The Friars shot 48.3 percent from the floor despite making just three 3-pointers.Merrimack hung tough, but a late 9-3 run helped Providence strengthen its lead. Jared Bynum’s 3-pointer with 5:01 to play punctuated the Friars’ 4-for-5 stretch from the floor.Croswell scored a 3-point play with 2:19 left before Carter’s putback in the final minute clinched the win.Ziggy Reid scored a game-high 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting and three triples for Merrimack (1-5), the Northeast Conference preseason favorites. Jordan Derkack grabbed 10 rebounds.Javon Bennett (11 points) and Mykel Derring (eight points) each hit two of the Warriors’ 10 total treys.The Friars responded to Derring’s opening 3-pointer for Merrimack with five players scoring during a 10-0 run over just 2:25. A Hopkins turnaround capped the streak at the 15:10 marker.