Providence (12-5, 2-2) came out on top in an 84-83 double overtime win over Big East rival St. John’s Thursday night, recording their second straight conference win to move to .500 in the Big East.
The Friars raced out to a 14-2 lead thanks in large part to a lack of confidence from St. John’s and six points from senior Bryce Cotton. Kadeem Batts led the Friars with nine points and four rebounds in the first half, en route to a 36-29 Friar lead at the break.
St. John’s were their own worst enemy in the first half, not making a single three-pointer and totaling just one assist.
However, St John’s came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, tying the game 50-50 near the 10-minute mark.
Big shots by LaDontae Henton and clutch free throws by Cotton allowed the Friars to gain the lead right back.
The Friars coughed up another lead late, however, but Tyler Harris was able to drain two free throws to tie the game in the last minute and send the game to overtime.
St. John’s looked like they were going to take control in the first overtime period, scoring the first four points, but Providence battled back and forced a D’Angelo Harrison miss in the final seconds to force a second overtime period.
With a not so fortunate track record in overtime this season, the Friars were determined not to let another one slip through their fingers. After battling back-and-forth for over four minutes, Cotton found himself with the ball in his hands with a chance to win the game.
He did just that, driving to the basket and banking it in over the trees to give the Friars an 84-83 lead and the win.
Cotton once again was the best player on the floor, doing a little bit of everything with 21 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Henton and Batts chipped in with 17 points and nine rebounds apiece.
The Friars will look to keep their momentum going this Saturday, when they welcome #20 Creighton to the Dunk for an 8:00 p.m. tip. The game will once again be televised on Fox Sports 1.