A 26-7 run spanning halftime helped Providence end No. 20/19 Creighton's 10-game winning streak and knock the Bluejays into second place in the BIG EAST on Saturday night, as the Friars won an 81-68 contest.
Providence improved to 13-5 and fourth place in the BIG EAST (3-2), while Creighton dropped to 15-3 (5-1 BIG EAST).
Providence controlled the opening half, never trailing before taking a 37-30 lead into intermission. The Friars started with five early points by Bryce Cotton to claim a 7-2 lead and led by as much as 16-7 in the opening half. Creighton would get within one point at 29-28 on a lay-in by Jahenns Manigat late in the first half, only to see the Friars close the frame with a 8-2 spurt heading into the break.
Doug McDermott led CU with 8 points while Manigat had seven, though both men (along with Ethan Wragge) were saddled with two fouls. PC was led by 10 points each from Coton and Kadeem Batts and led the rebound battle, 19-9.
The Providence offense also started strong after intermission, using a 12-5 run out of the gates to open up its largest lead yet at 49-35 at the first media timeout. The break did little to curb the momentum, as PC scored on its next three trips to extend the margin to 55-35 and force a Bluejay timeout.
Creighton would draw within 58-44 with 10:54 left after Ethan Wragge had two free throws, the latter his 1,000th career point. Creighton had trouble coming much closer, eventually whittling the deficit to 72-64 in the last 92 seconds.
McDermott led Creighton with 21 points, moving to 24th on the NCAA's all-time scoring list with 2,665 career points. He also led the Bluejays with seven rebounds. Devin Brooks was also in double-figures with 10 points. The Bluejays were just 4-of-19 from three-point range, season-lows in both trifecta's and three-point percentage.
Providence was paced by five men in double-figures, including 19 from LaDontae Henton and 23 by Cotton. PC owned the glass all night long, outrebounding CU 33-27 and owning a 15-8 margin in second-chance points.