The Friars led 46-41 with 2:30 remaining, but South Florida guard Shaun Noriega nailed two 3-pointers in a row to give the Bulls a one-point lead with just under two minutes remaining.
Bulls' Coach Stan Heath said, "I asked Noriega if he could do it, and he said, 'I've got one.' But he gave me two." Noriega only appeared in the game for one minute.
Providence forward LaDontae Henton made an inside basket to regain the lead at 48-47. South Florida guard Anthony Collins drew a foul on the following possession and made both free throws to give the Bulls a one-point lead.
Rudd made two free throws with 31 seconds left to give South Florida a 51-48 advantage before Providence coach Ed Cooley was called for a technical. The Bulls (18-7, 8-4 Big East) went on to sink four free throws en route to the victory.
"Let me tell you why I got that technical," Cooley said. "I want to fight for my players. I feel that they deserve better than that call, so I'll fight for them."
Henton put up 33 points in the previous meeting between these two teams, but this time the Bulls were able to hold him to just seven.
The Friars were only 1-for-12 from behind the three-point arc on the night.