Freshman A.J. Reeves scored 21 points first-half points and senior Isaiah Jackson added 13 to lead the Providence Friars to a wire-to-wire 83-70 win on Saturday over the visiting Butler Bulldogs in Providence, R.I.
Reeves was 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range and finished with 24 points. Jackson, who was 5 of 5 from the field, including 3-for-3 from long range in the first half, compiled 20 points and five rebounds.
Paul Jorgensen led the Bulldogs with 17 points. Kamar Baldwin scored 15 and Joey Brunk added 11.
Providence’s pinpoint passing and ability to move the ball to the Friars’ sharpshooters doomed the Bulldogs from the start. Providence connected on 8 of 13 from beyond the arc in the first half and finished 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) for the game.
Reeves got the Friars (17-14, 7-11 Big East) on the board first with a 3-point jumper. Baldwin tied the game, but David Duke’s free throws ignited a 24-8 Providence run that put the Friars up 27-11 with nine minutes left in the half.
Kalif Young set the defensive tone, recording four first-half blocked shots as the Friars held the Bulldogs (16-15, 7-11) to just 34.6 percent from the field in the half.
Providence showed no sign of letting up early in the second half. The lead grew to 28 on two free throws by Duke with 11:27 remaining.
But the Bulldogs had plenty of fight left, going on a 21-8 run to cut the Friars’ lead to 79-64 on Sean McDermott’s 3-pointer with just over four minutes left.
A steal by Baldwin and subsequent layup cut the deficit to 13. Butler followed with another steal, but Jorgensen’s 3-pointer was off the mark.
Nate Watson sank a pair of free throws and the lead was back to 15.
Butler missed a couple of chances on the offensive end to make the game closer, but 3-point attempts by Aaron Thompson and Jorgensen weren’t close.
On the Friars’ next possession, Baldwin fouled out and Diallo was good on two free throws to seal the Providence win.
—Field Level Media