Wed, 18 May 2022

No. 17 Providence edges No. 21 Xavier on late 3-pointer

Field Level Media
27 Jan 2022, 12:19 GMT+10

Jared Bynum's stepback 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left lifted No. 17 Providence to a 65-62 victory over No. 21 Xavier in a Big East game Wednesday night in Cincinnati, giving the Friars their best start to a season since 1976-77.

Paul Scruggs' 3-pointer from the right wing with 51 seconds left had given Xavier (14-5, 4-4 Big East) a 62-60 lead. But the Friars (17-2, 7-1) tied the game 62-62 with 37 seconds left when Al Durham made two foul shots.

Scruggs' running bank shot fell off the rim and was rebounded by Justin Minaya. After Bynum's go-ahead 3-pointer, the Musketeers called a timeout but turned the ball over on the inbounds pass.

Durham led Providence with 22 points, Bynum finished with 16 and Ed Croswell scored 10.

Scruggs scored 16 points, Jack Nunge had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Zach Freemantle finished with 12 points for Xavier.

Providence last started a season 17-2 when the 1976-77 squad went 18-2 and eventually finished 24-5. That team lost to Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Xavier scored on its first two possessions of the second half to cut its six-point halftime deficit to 35-33, but the Friars twice pushed the lead back to seven points. The second instance occurred when Bynum weaved through the Musketeers' defense and passed to Croswell for a dunk to give Providence a 53-46 lead with 8:37 left. But a 7-0 run capped by Freemantle's fast-break layup off a pass from Colby Jones tied the score at 53 with 6:14 left.

Bynum's driving layup put the Friars ahead 55-53, but Scruggs hit two foul shots to tie the score at 55 with 5:37 to go.

On Providence's next possession, Noah Horchler made a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Friars a 58-55 lead with 5:09 to go.

Durham was hot early, scoring 12 of the Friars' first 15 points. His 3-pointer off a drive-and-dish assist by Bynum gave Providence a 15-5 lead with 14:24 remaining in the first half.

--Field Level Media

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