Rodney Bullock scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Providence hold off St. John’s 61-57 in the regular-season finale for both Big East squads on Saturday afternoon in Providence, R.I.
Alpha Diallo added 13 points and seven boards and Kyron Cartwright had 10 points with three steals for Providence (19-12, 10-8 Big East), which bounced back from Wednesday’s 84-74 loss at No. 3 Xavier to end the campaign with a win following four losses in six games.
Marvin Clark II led all scorers with 14 points and grabbed six rebounds while Justin Simon added 13, nine assists and six boards for St. John’s (15-16, 4-14). Bashir Ahmed finished with 12 points and seven boards and Tariq Owens also scored 12 for the Red Storm.
St. John’s couldn’t build off its 75-68 double-overtime victory against Butler on Wednesday and capped the regular-season campaign with three losses in four games following signs of life with a four-game winning streak.
Providence was an easy winner in its first meeting with St. John’s this season, winning 94-72 in its Big East opener behind 21 points and 15 assists from Cartwright and 20 points from Bullock. Clark scored 20 to lead the Red Storm.
Providence led 26-25 at halftime.
Bullock’s jumper with 11:11 remaining matched the Friars’ biggest lead of 13 points at 47-34. Simon and Ahmed combined for 11 points during a 13-3 surge that brought St. John’s within three at 50-47 with 3:30 to play.
Neither team scored until Cartwright’s 3-pointer with 1:35 left doubled the Providence lead. Simon made 1 of 2 free throws 22 seconds later to cut the Red Storm’s deficit to five before the Friars sealed it with eight free throws in the last 38 seconds.
St. John’s largest lead was three at 15-12 after an Owens 3 with 8:02 left in the first half.
The Big East tournament takes place March 7-10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
—Field Level Media