PROVIDENCE (RI) - Providence (14-5, 4-2) used a late run to defeat Butler (11-8, 1-6) 65-56 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Tuesday night.
The Friars were led by senior Bryce Cotton with 18 points (5/12 FG) and 6 assists.
It was a tale of two halves for Cotton. Butler contained him during the 1st half where the second leading scorer in the Big East had just 2 points and 4 assists. It was a different story in the 2nd half. He scored 16 of his 18 in the 2nd half to lead the Friars to victory.
Butler struggled to stop the Friars in the paint and on the glass. Providence out-rebounded the Bulldogs 37-22 and outscored Butler 32-24 in the paint.
Butler was led by Kellen Dunham with 17 points on 5/12 shooting from the field (2/7 3PT). The sophomore guard also had 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists.
Khyle Marshall chipped in 15 points (7/13 FGs) and Andrew Chrabascz added 8 points off the bench for the Bulldogs.
Butler led early and held the lead until midway through the 1st half when Tyler Harris' three-point play gave the Friars a 17-16 lead with 7:32 remaining.
The Friars wouldn't look back in the 1st half. While the Bulldogs battled they couldn't get over the deficit that Providence gave them and the Bulldogs trailed 29-26 at the break.
In the 2nd half Butler tried to stay in the game and was within reach until an 8-0 run by the Friars extended Providence's lead to 61-49 with 5:02 remaining.
Butler would cut the Providence lead to just 5 with 1:25 remaining in the game, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Three other players were in double figures for the Friars including Kadeem Batts with 14 points and 17 rebounds, while Tyler Harris and LaDontae Henton each added 12.
Foul trouble started to creep into the equation for Butler. Alex Barlow and Kameron Woods each were in foul trouble. Barlow was able to manage it well and played all 40 minutes for the Bulldogs. He scored 6 points and had 4 assists, however, Woods wasn't so lucky. The junior forward played just 28 minutes scoring 6 points and grabbing a season low 3 rebounds.
First year coach Brandon Miller and Butler return home on Saturday to face St. John's at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs look to improve on their 1-6 record in the Big East.
NOTES: Butler shot 21/49 (42.9%) from the field including 4/13 (30.8%) from three. The Bulldogs were just 10/15 (66.7%) from the free throw line...Providence shot 23/50 (46%) including 5/11 (45.5%) from three. The Friars continued their nation leading free throw shooting with a 14/16 (87.5%) performance...Elijah Brown scored 2 points in 22 minutes off the bench for Butler...Erik Fromm had 2 points and 3 rebounds in 27 minutes...Butler turned it over 13 times, while Providence did just 7 times...Attendance was 2,022.
It was over when...Providence went on an 8-0 with 5 minutes remaining in the game to extend their lead to 61-49.
Stat of the Game: 16 - Bryce Cotton's point total in the 2nd half. The senior guard struggled from the floor in the 1st half but came back to score a game-high 18 points and lead the Friars to their 4th win in the Big East.