Providence (18-10, 8-7) came out strong and scored 46 first-half points in an eventual 87-81 win at Butler Sunday night, keeping NCAA Tournament hopes alive for the Friars.
Early on, the Bulldogs were forcing the ball out of Bryce Cotton’s hands. Luckily, Tyler Harris, LaDontae Henton, and Josh Fortune were all making shots, allowing the Friars to sustain a lead. However, Bryce Cotton was eventually going to get his, making a reverse layup around the 11 minute mark for his first points of the game. That’s all he needed to get going, scoring 13 first-half points and a game-high 28 for the game.
Butler’s Khyle Marshall matched Cotton with 13 first-half points, but Providence still took a 46-33 lead into the break.
Butler stormed all the way back in the first five minutes of the second half, burying the Friars early with a 17-2 run to take their first lead since the 13 minute mark of the first half.
It took a few minutes, but Providence was able to fight off Butler’s big comeback, getting big shots from Cotton and Henton to regain the lead for good.
In addition to Cotton, Henton (15), Batts (14), Fortune (14), and Harris (14) were all in double-figures.
Butler was led by their leading scorer Kellen Dunham, who poured in a team-high 25 points. Marshall also chipped in with 22.
The Friars will face another must-win Friday night when they travel to Seton Hall, who gave Creighton all they could handle Sunday on the road. The game will tip at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Net.