Xavier has second-half meltdown, loses to Providence

Posted at 2:54 AM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 02:54:27-05

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Xavier turned a two-point halftime lead into a 12-point loss Wednesday night and left coach Chris Mack shaking his head.

Playing without leading scorer Trevon Bluiett (ankle injury), the Musketeers fell behind by as many as 18 before the buzzer mercifully ended Providence’s 75-63 victory.

"We have to grow up," Mack said afterward. "I feel like I'm doing a lousy job getting our guys to deal with adversity. We have to survive other teams going on runs."

The Friars went on runs of 14-4 and 14-2 in the second half on the way to their biggest lead at 74-56.

Xavier  had a 44-29 edge in rebounds but Providence scored 18 points off 17 XU turnovers.

RaShid Gaston scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Xavier (18-8, 8-5), which has lost two straight.

Kyron Cartwright had 17 points and five assists and Rodney Bullock added 16 points with 10 rebounds for Providence (16-11, 6-8 Big East).