Providence 87, Butler 81: Bryce Cotton scored 28 points to lead five starters in double figures as the Friars got a big road win over the Bulldogs.
Cotton was 8-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range, and dished out six assists for Providence (18-10, 8-7 Big East). LaDontae Henton added 15 points and seven assists while Kadeem Betts, Tyler Harris and Josh Fortune each chipped in 14 points.
Kellen Dunham led Butler (12-15, 2-13) with 25 points while Khyle Marshall added 22. Andrew Chrabascz scored 14 points and Kameron Woods returned from a one-game suspension to record eight points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams came out fast, with the Friars hitting four of their first five attempts from 3-point range yet still tailing 16-14 nearly eight minutes into the game. Providence put together a 25-10 run from that point to take a comfortable lead, and the advantage was still 13 going to halftime.
The Bulldogs got right back into it in the second half, opening on a 19-4 run to take a two-point advantage with just under 14 minutes to play. It was close from then on, but the Friars took the lead for good on Henton's 3-pointer midway through the half and hit 13 free throws in the final five minutes to help to stave off any Butler attempt at a rally.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Butler G Alex Barlow had nine points, eight assists and three steals in a losing effort. … Providence shot 66.7 percent from the field, including 13-of-20 from 3-point range. … The Bulldogs nearly had as many offensive rebounds as they had defensive, snagging 12 of their 28 boards from the offensive glass.