Big 2nd half lifts Xavier over Providence

Posted at 11:32 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 23:32:14-05

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Jalen Reynolds had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 7 Xavier held off a late rally to beat No. 10 Providence 75-68 on Tuesday night, the Musketeers' first road win over a Top Ten team in 20 years.

Trevon Bluiett added 15 points for Xavier (18-2, 6-2 Big East).

With Bluiett battling late foul trouble and James Farr already fouled out, the Friars used a 16-5 run to cut what had been a 17-point deficit down to 64-58 with 3:44 remaining.

Xavier was able to get the lead back up to double-digits. But after Bluiett fouled out, a dunk by Kris Dunn capped a 7-0 run by the Friars to make it 68-65.

The Musketeers held, though, getting some distance in the final minute via a 3-pointer by J.P. Macura and some free throws.

Ben Bentil led Providence (17-4, 5-3) with 25 points while Dunn added 16.

Xavier won at then-No. 1 Cincinnati in 1996.

The game started with seven straight points by Xavier, followed by a 13-0 run by the Friars.

Xavier handled the Friars' zone in the first half, getting a lot of mid-range jumpers to fall late in the shot clock.

Farr was particularly accurate from the outside. He went 5 for 6 from the field and scored all but two of his points in the half from outside the paint. The exception was a transition dunk in the middle of a spurt in which he scored seven consecutive points.

The Friars struggled offensively throughout the opening 20 minutes, shooting just 31 percent (10 for 32) from the field and 1 for 11 from 3-point range.

Their shots seemed rushed at times in the halfcourt, with Musketeers often making the Friars go to their second and third options.

It resulted in a handful of scoring droughts, including one 4-minute stretch in which Providence missed six straight shots and committed five turnovers.


Xavier: Improved to 4-1 against ranked teams this season. ... All 18 of its wins have been by at least seven points. ... Had 12 turnovers in the first half.

Providence: Committed 10 turnovers and had 10 fastbreak points in the first half. ... Dropped to 4-2 against ranked teams. ...Tuesday night marked the first time since the Friars moved into the Dunkin' Donuts Center before the 1972-73 season that they were ranked in the Top 10 and hosted another Top 10 team.

Up Next

Xavier is at DePaul on Saturday.

Providence is at Georgetown on Saturday.