It took overtime for Providence College men's basketball to defeat Xavier, 69-66, on Thursday, Jan. 22 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The Friars improved to 15-5 (5-2 BIG EAST), while Xavier fell to 12-7 (3-4 BIG EAST).
Providence was led by senior forward LaDontae Henton (Lansing, Mich.), who recorded his third double-double on the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Kris Dunn recorded his fifth double-double, with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He was two assists shy of a triple double as he also notched eight assists. It marked the first time this season that two Friars registered a double-double in the same game and the first time since March 14, 2014 when Henton (26 points, 14 rebounds) and Bryce Cotton (18 points, 10 assists) accomplished the feat versus Seton Hall in the BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals.
The first half ended with the Friars holding a 12-point lead, 32-20. Henton led all in scoring with 12 points. He also had five boards. Henton was followed by Dunn with 10 points and four rebounds. Providence's largest lead of 12 points came with 45 seconds remaining in the first half. Matt Stainbrook had six points to pace the Musketeers over the first 20 minutes.
The Friars held the lead for the majority of the second half, with the largest lead of 14 points coming with 19:18 remaining. The Musketeers made several attempts at a comeback, cutting the Friars' lead to six with 3:59 left in regulation on two free throws by Trevon Bluiett. However, after a free throw by junior Tyler Harris (Dix Hills, N.Y.), PC's lead was pushed back to nine points with 2:34 remaining. Myles Davis hit a three to get the Musketeers with six points (60-54) with 1:41 left and the things went wild. Xavier pressured the Friars into three consecutive turnovers which were all converted into layups that led to a tie game (60-60) with 28 seconds left. The Friars held the ball for the final shot of regulation, but senior Carson Desrosiers' three rimmed out and the two teams were headed to overtime.
In overtime, Tyler Harris and Stainbrook exchanged baskets, leaving it tied at 62. J.P. Macura gave Xavier a 64-62 lead with 1:24 left in overtime.
After Macura's basket Henton took over, scoring a layup to tie the game. Desrosiers blocked Stainbrook at the other end and Henton made a jumper and converted a three-point play after being fouled, giving the Friars a 67-64 lead with 26 seconds left. That sealed it for the Friars as they went on to win 69-66.
Xavier's Jalen Reynolds recorded a double-double with 14 and 13 points. Matt Stainbrook also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Friars will return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 27 when they host DePaul at 9:00 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
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