Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Friars Hold off Bearcats' Late Rally Providence Preserves Narrow 54- 50 Win

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Friars Hold off Bearcats' Late Rally Providence Preserves Narrow 54- 50 Win

Article excerpt

Providence has been playing close games all season. Now the Friars are finally winning them. And against a ranked team, no less.

Kadeem Batts scored 25 points and the Friars narrowly won their second consecutive game after holding a late lead, beating No. 17 Cincinnati, 54-50.

"It's been an up-and-down season for us," Providence coach Ed Cooley said. "In the last three games, we're starting to show a little bit of consistency, and starting to play better basketball."

Last Thursday, the Friars (12-11, 4-7 Big East) lost to Connecticut, 82-79, in overtime. On Saturday, they blew a nine- point lead with 4:34 left but beat Villanova, 55-52, on a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go.

And on Wednesday they improved to 1-2 against Top 25 teams after their biggest lead of the game, 47-34 with 6:49 left, kept shrinking until it was down to 49-48 on two free throws by Cheikh Mbodj with 2:28 remaining.

"We started off sluggish," said Sean Kilpatrick, who led the Bearcats (18-5, 6-4) with 13 points. "Then we got in scoring droughts and dug a deeper hole. We could have played 10 times better."

Big East

* Louisville 68, Rutgers 48: Wayne Blackshear scored a career- high 19 points and hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 23-2 run early in the second half that carried No. 11 Louisville (19-4, 7-3) past host Rutgers.

* Marquette 70, South Florida 47: Todd Mayo and Vander Blue both scored 13 points to help visiting No. 24 Marquette (16-5, 7-2) beat South Florida (10-12, 1-9).

* St. John's 71, Connecticut 65: JaKarr Sampson had 18 points to lead host St. John's to the victory against Connecticut at Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm's sixth win in seven games.

Top 25 men

* TCU 62, Kansas 55: Garlon Green scored 20 points and TCU (10- 12, 1-8) upset visiting fifth-ranked Kansas (19-3, 7-2) for the Horned Frogs' first Big 12 victory. The Jayhawks, coming off a loss four days earlier against Oklahoma State, have their first losing streak in more than seven years. …

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