Cotton, Fortune lift Friars over Golden Eagles in double OT

Bryce Cotton sank two clutch free throws with just over seven seconds left in double overtime to give the Friars an 81-80 win over Marquette Tuesday night at the Dunk.

After the Golden Eagles scored the first four points of the game, the Friars ripped off a 16-2 run, racing out to a 16-6 lead early. However, Marquette held most of the play for the remainder of the first half, knotting it at 27-27 before LaDontae Henton hit a shot at the buzzer to put the Friars up 29-27 at the break. Henton led the Friars with 14 points in the opening half.

In the second half, the Friars built a 52-41 lead when Josh Fortune sank a three and got fouled. But Marquette just wouldn’t go away. Big shots and an offensive drought by Providence brought the Golden Eagles back into the game, eventually tying the game on three Todd Mayo free throws. Cotton had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but his contested three missed right.

After one overtime wasn’t enough, the game was sent into a second overtime where the Friars made two huge plays. Down 80-79, the Friars forced a jump ball, giving them a chance to win with 7.2 seconds left.

Providence did just that. On the inbound pass, Cotton jumped to grab the ball and was fouled. He nailed both of his free throws and Mayo missed a three at the other end to secure a Friar win.

Cotton put on an unbelievable performance, posting 25 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds with Marquette attempting to deny him the ball the whole game.

Henton added a monster double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

Mayo led the way for Marquette, pouring in 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

With the win, the Friars’ record improves to 20-10 overall and 10-7 in the Big East. They will cap off their regular season on Saturday at Creighton. The game will tip at 8:00 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Net.

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