EditorsNote: adds location in lede; minor editing
Luwane Pipkins scored 27 points to lift visiting Providence past No. 12 Villanova 58-54 on Saturday in Big East play in Philadelphia.
Maliek White added 15 points for the Friars (17-12, 10-6 Big East), who strengthened their NCAA Tournament chances with this road win. It was their fourth straight win overall and their fifth win over a ranked team this season.
Pipkins hit a spinning jumper for a 50-46 Providence advantage with 1:28 left. Pipkins later made two free throws for a 52-47 lead.
Jermaine Samuels and Cole Swider each missed treys for Villanova and White dropped in two free throws with 28.2 seconds remaining for a 54-47 advantage.
Collin Gillespie led Villanova with 13 points despite a sore thigh while Saddiq Bey added 11. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats (22-7, 11-5), who had their five-game winning streak snapped. They shot 5 of 30 from beyond the arc and finished at 35.1 percent from the field.
The Friars shot 35.4 percent and were 5 of 13 from long range.
The Wildcats missed their first six 3-pointers but stayed within 14-12 when Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree scored in the paint. After an empty Providence possession, Bey then dropped in the team’s first trey for a 15-14 advantage with 8:04 remaining.
Providence scored the next nine points to ahead 23-15 capped by David Duke’s three-point play with 1:57 to go.
The Friars held Villanova to its lowest point total in a half this season on their way to a 30-18 advantage.
Villanova opened the second half with some tenacious defense and closed within 34-27. But Pipkins responded with a trey and Kalif Young hit a layup to push the Providence lead back to 12.
Villanova misfired on 19 of its first 22 shots from beyond the arc and trailed 41-31 with 9:40 remaining. After a timeout, Samuels knocked down a 15-foot jumper and the deficit was eight.
Bey fouled out with 6:51 left and Villanova down 44-35.
Duke and Nate Watson missed shots in the lane on consecutive possessions and Gillespie made a pair of free throws with 5:30 left to cut the lead to 44-39.
When Robinson-Earl dropped in a trey with 3:50 to go, the Villanova deficit was two. Pipkins then came back with a jumper for a four-point advantage.
Robinson-Earl tipped home Gillespie’s miss with 1:56 remaining to close within 48-46.
—Field Level Media