Sophomore Maliek White (Arlington, Va.) led the Friars with 15 points.
Sophomore Alpha Diallo (New York, N.Y.) scored 13 points, junior Isaiah Jackson (Gainesville, Fla.) poured in 12 points to go with seven rebounds, freshman Makai-Ashton Langford (Worcester, Mass.) scored 11 points, and senior Kyron Cartwright (Compton, Calif.) scored 10 points to lead White in the Friars attack.
Providence (18-12, 9-8) trailed 40-37 to begin the second half, but a 10-2 Musketeers spurt highlighted by a three-pointer from Trevon Bluiett put Xavier up 50-39.
Cartwright and Diallo tried to keep the Friars afloat with a pair of baskets but a JP Macura layup and a Sean O’Mara dunk kept Xavier in front by 10.
The Friars cut the Musketeers lead to single digits following the under 12 media timeout as Jackson knocked down two at the line and Diallo scored four straight to trim Xavier’s lead to 61-53 with 10:20 to play.
Xavier’s lead remained eight with just over six minutes left, but a Musketeers turnover led to a Bullock turnaround layup to pull the Friars within six, 65-59.
Naji Marshall and Bluiett swished back-to-back three pointers to put Xavier back up 10 but a White dunk and a Jackson drive inched the Friars closer, 71-65, with 3:33 left.
The Musketeers, however, hit eight straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Providence struggled offensively to start off as they turned the ball over five times that allowed Xavier to get up 7-2.
Xavier used its inside-out game on offense to heat up as consecutive baskets from Kerem Kanter and a layup from Quentin Goodin put the Musketeers up 19-8.
Cartwright and Diallo helped the Friars find their rhythm.
Diallo knocked down a trey and connected at the rim around a Cartwright triple to pull the Friars within 21-15 with 9:10 left in the half.
Goodin kept the Musketeers at a distance scoring five points as part of a 7-2 run that increased Xavier’s lead back up to 28-17.
Ashton-Langford and White helped the Friars get their way back into the game before the half.
Ashton-Langford came off the bench and drove to the basket for two and Jackson drilled a three-pointer off a feed from White to get the Friars within nine.
The duo of Ashton-Langford and White continued to produce for Providence as White splashed a three-pointer and Ashton-Langford finished through contact to make it a five-point game.
Ashton-Langford then closed the half in style banking a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull the Friars within 40-37 going into the locker room.
Next up the Friars host St. John’s in their final regular season game on Saturday, March 3rd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center with tipoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on FSN/YurView/Yes Network.
- GO FRIARS –
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