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Providence edges St. John’s to remain unbeaten in Big East

Dec 20, 2022; Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Providence Friars head coach Ed Cooley during a timeout against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at Amica Mutual Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Locke scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures Saturday afternoon for Providence, which remained unbeaten in Big East play by edging visiting St. John’s, 83-80.

Devin Carter had 19 points and hit the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 3:28 left for the Friars (14-3, 6-0 Big East), who didn’t trail in the second half in extending their best conference start ever. Ed Croswell had 14 points and nine rebounds while Alyn Breed also scored 14 points and Bryce Hopkins added 10 points.

Joel Soriano (16 points, 10 rebounds) had his 14th double-double of the season but had a potential go-ahead score waved off for basket interference late in the second half for St. John’s (11-6, 1-5 Big East), which has lost five straight. Posh Alexander scored 14 points while a trio of reserves — O’Mar Stanley (13 points), Andre Curbelo (12 points) and Rafael Pinzon (10 points) — scored in double figures.

Providence led by as many as seven and St. John’s led by as many as nine in the first half before Stanley’s layup with 13 seconds left gave the Red Storm a 41-40 lead at intermission.

Carter opened the second half with a dunk off a turnover by Dylan Addae-Wusu to give Providence the lead. St. John’s was within one or two points four times before Locke hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 10-4 run and give the Friars their biggest lead at 62-54 with 12:36 left.

Pinzon then scored six points in a 7-0 run as St. John’s pulled within 62-61 with 9:30 remaining before Carter hit a pair of free throws for Providence, which maintained a lead of between one and four points prior to Soriano’s fast-break dunk off a Friars turnover tied the score at 71-71 with 4:55 left.

The teams traded free throws before Carter hit his tie-breaking 3-pointer. St. John’s appeared to take the lead on a Soriano jumper with 2:25 left, but the basket was waved off because Stanley was hanging on the basket as the ball was still in the cylinder. Breed then hit a jumper for the Friars, who clung to a lead between one and four points the rest of the way.

Curbelo hit the first of two free throws with 4.9 seconds left but his intentional miss on the second one didn’t hit the rim. Croswell hit his first free throw two seconds later and missed the second, but AJ Storr’s desperation full-courter didn’t come close as the buzzer sounded.

–Field Level Media