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Durham hits clutch 3 to send No. 11 Providence past Butler

Providence's Jared Bynum (4) and Nate Watson (0) celebrate after an NCAA college basketball game against Butler at the Big East conference basketball tournament on Thursday, March 10, 2022, in New York. Providence won 65-61. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Al Durham drained a go-ahead 3-pointer with 41 seconds left for his first basket of the game, and No. 11 Providence barely got past pesky Butler 65-61 in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.

Nate Watson scored a season-high 26 points for the top-seeded Friars, who avoided an early exit at Madison Square Garden after winning the first regular-season conference championship in school history.

Jared Bynum added 16 points off the bench.

The gritty Friars will play No. 4 seed Creighton or fifth-seeded Marquette on Friday night. Chuck Harris had 14 points and Bryce Golden 13 for the ninth-seeded Bulldogs.