Alpha Diallo had 25 points and Luwane Pipkins added 23 as Providence held off Xavier 80-74 in a Big East game at Providence, R.I., on Wednesday night.
Xavier’s Zach Freemantle cut the lead to 75-74 on a layup with 1:39 left. It was the fifth time in as many minutes Xavier cut the lead to one point, but the Musketeers failed to even tie the score once in that span.
This time, Pipkins answered with Providence’s first 3-pointer of the second half with 1:11 left. After Xavier’s Naji Marshall missed a 3-pointer, Pipkins drove for a layup to increase the lead to 80-74 with 27 seconds left.
Jason Carter and Freemantle missed 3-point attempts in the last 13 seconds before time expired.
Providence’s David Duke added 16 points. Diallo, Pipkins and Duke combined for 64 points on 22-of-41 shooting from the field.
Starting guard Maliek White of Providence (18-12, 11-6) did not play because of a sprained ankle.
Xavier (19-11, 8-9) was led by Marshall’s 25 points and six rebounds. Freemantle added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Providence led from the beginning and took a lead as large as 15 points in the first half before leading 47-38 at halftime.
Pipkins (15 points), Duke (12) and Diallo (11) reached double figures in scoring by halftime. That trio combined to shoot 12 of 22 from the field and 7 of 13 from 3-point range in the first half.
Marshall led Xavier with 13 points at halftime.
After an A.J. Reeves dunk 69 seconds into the second half gave Providence a 49-38 lead, Xavier went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 51-50. Quentin Goodin had two 3-pointers and Tyrique Jones scored twice at the rim in the run for the Musketeers.
Xavier could not overcome Providence, however, as the Friars matched the Musketeers basket-for-basket through most of the second half — though Providence did not lead by more than six points in the last 6:48.
—Field Level Media