Cotton leads Providence to 76-72 win over Rutgers

The Associated Press

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Guard Bryce Cotton scored 22 points, including two foul shots with 5 seconds left, and forward LaDontae Henton dropped in 18 points as Providence won its fifth Big East game of the month, 76-72, over Rutgers on Saturday night.

Kadeem Batts added 14 points and Vincent Council had 12 to give Providence (15-12, 7-8) four players in double figures. Providence is 5-1 in six February Big East games, with its only loss coming against No. 8 Syracuse last Wednesday.

Dane Miller came off the bench to lead Rutgers (13-13, 4-10) with 17 points and reserve Kadeem Jack was the second-leading scorer for the Scarlet Knights with a career-high 15 points.

Jack's free throw had cut the Rutgers deficit to 64-60 with 4:17 left to play, but Cotton helped seal it for the Friars with a two-handed dunk off a fast break and then converted a reverse layup after hauling in a Kris Dunn pass on a dash down the court. The second basket made it 68-61 with 3 minutes to go.

Rutgers, which led by as many as 11 points in the first half, held a 33-23 advantage with 4:41 left before the break. But Providence, sparked by Cotton, scored 19 straight points over the final 4:16 to take a 42-33 lead at intermission.

Cotton ignited the run with a pull-up jumper and capped the spree by completing a four-point play on a 3-pointer and foul shot with 41.3 seconds showing. He then nailed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds to go. Council contributed a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup in the Friars' streak.

Providence hit 8 of 20 3-pointers, led by Cotton and Henton with three apiece. The Friars sank 18 of 24 free throws. Rutgers hit 17 of 24 foul shots.