No. 18 UConn uses big second half to beat Providence, 87-69
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and No. 18 UConn beat No. 20 Providence 87-69 on Wednesday night to split the regular-season series between the New England rivals.
Adama Sanogo and Alex Karaban each added 16 points for the Huskies (21-7, 10-7 Big East), who won for the fifth time in their last six games. Tristen Newton had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Bryce Hopkins scored 16 points and Jared Bynum had 14 for the Friars (20-8, 12-5), who fell two games behind Marquette in the race for the Big East’s regular-season title.
UConn led by just five at halftime, but outscored Providence 50-37 in the second half.
UConn scored the final five points of the first half and Hawkins had the first five points of the second to turn a tie game into a 10-point lead at 42-32.
Providence responded a short time later with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two points.
But the Huskies held the Friars without a basket for more than five minutes and built the lead to 17 with a 14-0 run.
The Huskies dominated the paint, outscoring the Friars 42-24 down low and outrebounding Providence 40-20.
This was the first time in the 77-game history of the rivalry that both teams were ranked when they faced each other.
UConn is now 46-31 all-time against Friars, but had lost three of the last four meetings, including 73-61 on Jan. 4.
Providence: The Friars, trying to repeat as regular-season conference champions, dropped into a tie with Xavier and Creighton for second place in the conference standings.
UConn: The Huskies extended their lead to a game over Seton Hall for fifth place in the league. The top five teams in the conference standings will earn a bye in the first round of the conference tournament.
Providence: The Friars visit Georgetown on Sunday.
UConn: The Huskies head to Madison Square Garden on Saturday for a noon matchup with St. John’s.