No. 21 Butler holds on to beat No. 24 Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Roosevelt Jones scored 16 points and Kellen Dunham had 15 as No. 21 Butler held on for a 68-64 victory over No. 24 Providence on Saturday.
Reserve Kelan Martin added 14 points for the Bulldogs (22-9, 12-6 Big East), who won for the ninth time in 12 games.
The teams entered the final day of conference season in a three-way tie for second in the Big East with Georgetown.
Kris Dunn led Providence (21-10, 11-7) with 23 points, six assists and four steals. Tyler Harris had 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. LaDontae Henton, a senior and the Big East’s leading scorer, had eight points on 2 of 10 shooting.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 16 points in the second half before a furious charge by the Friars made it 50-49 with 7:32 remaining. Butler used five straight points from Martin and a 3-pointer by Dunham to go up by 58-49.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 16 points in the second half before a furious charge by the Friars pulled PC to within 50-49 with 7:32 remaining. Butler answered behind five straight points from Martin and a three-pointer by Dunham to go up by nine (58-49).
A three-point play by Dunn helped the Friars close within 62-59 with 49 seconds left but two free throws apiece from Kameron Woods and Dunham helped lock things up for Butler.
Neither time shot the ball particularly well as Providence hit 41.1 percent from the field while Butler was at 39.2 percent. The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 39-27.
Butler hit five of its first eight shots to take a 12-7 lead. The Bulldogs closed the half on a 16-2 run for a 33-22 lead.
Providence: Henton, Harris and Carson Desrosiers were honored during pre-game Senior Day festivities. Also recognized was God Shammgod, who is on track to graduate in May. Shammgod first showed up on campus as a promising freshman in 1995 and left school two years later to pursue a pro basketball career that took him from the NBA to China. He returned to Providence three years ago as an undergraduate assistant coach.
Butler: Bulldogs sophomore Andrew Chrabascz grew up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and played two years at Portsmouth High before transferring to Cushing (Mass.) Academy. The 6-foot-7, 225 pound forward got off to a strong start against Providence with seven of Butler’s first 12 points. Saturday was Chrabascz’s second game back after sitting out four straight games with a hand injury. He finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists.
Providence: At the Big East Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.
Butler: At the Big East Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.