March 4, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College men's basketball team (20-10, 10-7 BIG EAST) won a double overtime thriller over Marquette, 81-80, on Tuesday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence. Senior Bryce Cotton (Tucson, Ariz.) sunk two free throws with 7.2 seconds left in double overtime to give the Friars their 20th win of the season and first win over Marquette since Jan. 4, 2007.
It is the first time Providence has reached the 20 win mark since the 2003-04 season. It also was the team's 10th conference win of the year, its most since 2008-09. With the victory, Providence also earned a bye in the BIG EAST Championship and will play in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 13 at Madison Square Garden.
In the second overtime, the Golden Eagles (17-13, 9-8 BIG EAST) held a three-point advantage (80-77) with 27.9 seconds remaining, before LaDonte Henton (Lansing, Mich.) hit a running jumper with 9.3 second remaining to bring the Friars to within one (80-79). The Providence defense forced a jump ball and held the possession arrow, giving the Friars the ball. Cotton was fouled on the in-bounds play with 7.2 seconds left setting up the final tally.
In regulation, both teams were tied at 41-41 with 12:08 remaining in the game. Providence used an 11-0 run to take a 52-41 lead with 8:45 left, capped by a four-point play from sophomore Josh Fortune (Hampton, Va.). The Golden Eagles gained a one point lead (56-55) following a 15-3 run with 1:46 remaining in the game. Fortune again hit a clutch four-point play to give the Friars a 59-56 lead with 25.6 left on the clock. Marquette tied it again at 59 with three free throw by junior Todd Mayo. Senior Davante Gardner chucked up a half-court shot that went in, yet upon review, was waived off to send the game into overtime.
Henton registered his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Cotton finished the game with a team-high 25 points and a game-high nine assists in his final regular-season at home. Cotton has scored 20 or more points 22 times this season and leads the team in scoring at 21.7 ppg.
Providence recorded 13 blocks in the game. It was the first time since Jan. 7, 2012 against Seton Hall that the Friars tallied 10 or more blocked shots. Junior Carson Desrosiers (Windham, N.H.) and Batts registered five and three blocks, respectively.
The game marked the final home game for senior Kadeem Batts (Boston, Mass.), Cotton, junior Brice Kofane (Yaounde, Cameroon), senior Ted Bancroft (Marion, Mass.) and senior Lee Goldsbrough (Newcastle, England).
Ten of the Friars' 30 games this season have been decided by four points or less. The Friars have posted a 6-4 mark in those 10 games. Six of those nine games have gone into overtime (including four double overtime games). The Friars have registered a 3-3 record in overtime this season. The Friars become the first team in the history of the BIG EAST to have four double overtime conference games in a season.
There were 12 ties and 11 lead changes in the game.
Mayo led Marquette with a double-double, scoring 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Redshirt-senior Jamil Wilson also had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds and Davante Gardner had a double-double as well with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Friars will play their last regular season game on Saturday, March 8 at Creighton. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET.
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