Feb. 24, 2013
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Providence College men's basketball team defeated Rutgers, 76-72, on Saturday, February 23 in Piscataway, N.J. Junior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) led the Friars with a game-high 22 points in the win. The victory improved the Friars to 15-12 overall and 7-8 in league play. The win also guaranteed the Friars a bye in the first round of action at the BIG EAST Tournament and the team will open play on Wednesday, March 13.
In a wild first half, the Friars trailed, 33-23, with 4:41 left in the first half before going on a 19-0 run to close the half with a 33-42 lead. Cotton scored nine of the Friars' 19 points in the run. He finished the half with a team-high 11 points. The Friars were sluggish to start the game, but stayed within striking distance thanks to a 9-10 performance from the free-throw line. Junior Kadeem Batts (Powder Springs, Ga.) was 6-6 from the line and finished the half with eight points.
Rutgers was able to keep the game close in the second half, as they pounded the boards and converted on second chance opportunities. The Friars never relinquished the lead in the final 20 minutes of play, but the Scarlet Knights got within one point (59-58) with 7:25 remaining in the game. However, sophomore LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.) made a layup and an and one after being fouled on the play to push the lead back to four points with 7:01 left. The Friars made some key shots in the closing minutes, but none bigger than a layup by senior Vincent Council (Brooklyn, N.Y.) when he drove through the lane and scored with just 16 seconds left to push the lead back to five points and seal the game for the Friars.
In addition to Cotton's 22 points, Henton recorded 18 points and added 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Batts had 14 points and Council chipped in with 12 points and six assists.
Dane Miller led the Rutgers with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Providence returns to action on Saturday, March 2 when they host St. John's at the Dunkin' Donuts Center at 8 p.m. on Cox/SNY. Tickets for the game can be purchased at Friars.com.
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