Nate Watson had 16 points and five rebounds as Providence earned a 77-72 win over Northwestern on Monday night in a semifinal matchup at the Roman Legends Classic in Newark, N.J.
Jared Bynum added 15 points, Brycen Goodine scored 12 and both Al Durham and Noah Horchler had 11 apiece to help the Friars win their fifth straight game to start the season. Durham also dished out a game-high seven assists.
Boo Buie scored a game-high 23 to lead Northwestern, which suffered its first loss after a 4-0 start. Pete Nance contributed 20 points while Ryan Young chipped in nine points and Ryan Green had seven off the bench for the Wildcats.
Northwestern lost despite outshooting Providence after going 29-of-61 from the floor (47.5 percent) and committing five fewer turnovers (seven total) than the Friars, who finished 25-of-53 from the field (47.2 percent).
Providence will face Virginia in the tournament championship game on Tuesday night after the Cavaliers' 65-55 win over Georgia earlier Monday. Northwestern takes on the Bulldogs in the third-place game on Tuesday.
Providence led 36-27 at halftime. Northwestern hung around in the early minutes of the second half before the Friars rattled off seven unanswered points to go ahead 55-37 with 11:22 remaining.
The Wildcats were able to close within 70-65 after Nance's jumper with 36 seconds remaining before Providence sank seven free throws in the final 34 seconds to seal the win.
The Friars opened the game on a 10-2 run and led 19-6 nine minutes in. The Wildcats clawed back into the game with a 9-2 surge to pull within 21-15 after Buie's three-point play with 6:37 on the clock.
Horchler answered 15 seconds later with a 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 run to put Providence up 30-17 with under five minutes to go in the half.
--Field Level Media