Providence spotted Connecticut a 17-point lead in the second half of their Big East Conference game Saturday night at Hartford, Conn.
The Friars, however, did not panic and overcame the deficit to beat No. 13 Connecticut, 108-102.
“It was like we were in a zone out there in the second half,” said Providence’s Eric Murdock, who scored 22 of his 30 points in the second half. “Even when we were down by 12, we felt like we were up by 12.”
Connecticut, 12-4 overall and 3-3 in the Big East, had not given up more than 100 points since Jim Calhoun became coach five years ago. The Huskies, who lost a third consecutive Big East game for the first time in two years, dropped their second consecutive game at home after winning 22 in a row.
“Providence showed the kind of fortitude that every coach and every sports fan would like to see,” Calhoun said. “They just came back and dug out and willed the game away from our team. They outfought, outscrapped and out-hustled us.”
Providence (11-6, 2-4) shot 56% in the second half and gave up only two points off turnovers.
Trailing 60-45 at halftime, the Friars outscored Connecticut, 32-16, to start the second half and went ahead, 83-82, with 5:45 left.
Providence led, 101-93, with 1:08 left and made seven of 10 free throws in the final 61 seconds to seal the victory.
Chris Smith scored 26 points for Connecticut.
No. 2 Arkansas 98, Southern Methodist 70--Todd Day scored 21 points as the Razorbacks ran past the Mustangs for a Southwest Conference victory at Fayetteville, Ark.
Arkansas (17-1, 6-0) led, 54-33, at halftime and stretched the margin to 92-64 late in the second half by shutting out the Mustangs for four minutes.
Mike Wilson scored 21 points for SMU (7-9, 2-3).
No. 3 Indiana 99, No. 24 Iowa 79--The Hoosiers, off to their best start since they won 32 consecutive games and the national championship in 1975-76, made 14 of their first 16 shots at the start of the second half and cruised to a Big Ten Conference victory at Iowa City, Iowa.
Calbert Cheaney scored 30 points for Indiana (16-1, 4-0), which has won 14 games in a row.
Acie Earl scored 18 points for Iowa (13-5, 2-4), which lost at home for the first time in 12 games.
No. 4 Ohio State 89, Illinois 55--The Buckeyes, who play Indiana on Monday, remained unbeaten with an easy Big Ten victory at Columbus, Ohio.
Jim Jackson scored 21 points and had seven assists for Ohio State (15-0, 5-0), which matched its best start in the Big Ten since winning its first five conference games 11 years ago.
Andy Kaufmann scored 14 points for Illinois (12-6, 2-3).
No. 12 Duke 74, No. 5 North Carolina 60--The Blue Devils ended the Tar Heels’ 11-game winning streak in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Durham, N.C.
Reserve Thomas Hill scored 20 points and Christian Laettner added 18 for Duke (15-3, 4-1), which beat the Tar Heels for only the fourth time in 12 games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Rick Fox scored 18 points for North Carolina (13-2, 2-1).
No. 8 Syracuse 78, No. 25 Seton Hall 64--The Orangemen overcame a 12-point deficit for the Big East victory at Syracuse, N.Y.
Billy Owens scored 24 points and Dave Johnson scored all of his 19 points in the second half for Syracuse (16-2, 4-2), which beat Seton Hall (11-4, 4-3) for the 22nd consecutive time.
Johnson scored three baskets during a six-minute 13-2 run that gave Syracuse a 47-41 lead with 10:26 left.
No. 9 Kentucky 58, Vanderbilt 50--Jamal Mashburn scored 17 points in the second half to lead the Wildcats to their ninth consecutive victory in a Southeastern Conference game at Lexington, Ky.
Mashburn, a 6-foot-8 freshman, completed two three-point plays and made a three-point shot during a stretch in which Kentucky (14-2, 6-0) went from a six-point deficit to a 48-41 lead with 2:46 left.
Scott Draud scored 15 points for Vanderbilt (10-7, 4-3).
No. 10 St. John’s 73, No. 16 Pittsburgh 71--Malik Sealy scored 35 points, including 16 of St. John’s final 19 points, as the Redmen won a Big East game at New York.
St. John’s (13-2, 4-2) was leading, 72-70, in the final seconds when Pittsburgh’s Sean Miller, the Big East’s leading free-throw shooter at 91%, made one free throw but missed another. Robert Werdann of St. John’s grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made one of two free throws for the final margin.
Jason Matthews and Brian Shorter each had 16 points for Pittsburgh (14-4, 3-2).
No. 11 Oklahoma 76, Oklahoma State 72--The Sooners blew a 10-point lead, then overcame a four-point deficit for the Big Eight Conference victory at Norman, Okla.
Brent Price scored 17 points for Oklahoma (14-3, 3-1), which beat the Cowboys for the 11th consecutive time at home.
Byron Houston scored 31 points and had 13 rebounds for Oklahoma State (11-4, 1-2).
Georgia Tech 78, No. 14 Virginia 51--Jon Barry scored 11 consecutive points and the Yellow Jackets shut out Virginia (11-4, 3-2) for the final six minutes of the first half during an ACC victory at Atlanta.
The 27-point victory equaled Georgia Tech’s largest margin against an ACC team, set last season against North Carolina--102-75.
Kenny Anderson scored 21 points for Georgia Tech (10-5, 2-2).
No. 15 East Tennessee State 93, Western Carolina 76--Forward Calvin Talford scored 30 points and had 12 rebounds as the Buccaneers extended their winning streak to 13 games with the Southern Conference victory at Cullowhee, N.C.
Keith Jennings scored 22 points for East Tennessee State (14-1, 4-0).
No. 18 Southern Mississippi 87, Memphis State 77--The Golden Eagles set a school mark for the longest Metro Conference winning streak with the victory at Hattiesburg, Miss.
Darrin Chancellor scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half for Southern Mississippi (10-1, 5-0).
Memphis State is 8-7 and 2-2.
No. 19 Georgetown 56, Boston College 49--Dikembe Mutombo broke a 49-49 tie with a three-point play with just over a minute left and Charles Harrison sealed the Big East victory for the Hoyas with four free throws in the final seconds at Newton, Mass.
Harrison, a freshman, scored all of his 16 points in the second half. Alonzo Mourning, returning from a nine-game absence with a foot injury, had 10 points for Georgetown (11-4, 3-2).
Freshman Billy Curley scored 18 points for Boston College (9-8, 1-5).
Florida State 81, No. 22 South Carolina 80--Douglas Edwards scored seven of his 14 points in overtime and Aubry Boyd made two key free throws to lead the Seminoles to a Metro Conference victory at Columbia, S.C.
It was the second home conference loss for South Carolina (13-4, 3-2), which plays six of its remaining nine conference games on the road.
Florida State is 9-5 and 3-2.
No. 23 Utah 57, Air Force 47--The Utes scored 15 of their final 23 points on free throws in a Western Athletic Conference victory at Air Force Academy, Colo.
Josh Grant scored 14 points for Utah (17-1, 6-0), which trailed, 24-20, at halftime.
Charles Smith and Aaron Benson each scored 10 points for Air Force (6-9, 0-4).
Steve Smith scored 33 points as Michigan State (12-4, 5-1) hung on for a 73-64 Big Ten victory over Minnesota (9-6, 2-3) at East Lansing, Mich. . . . In a Big Ten game at Madison, Wis., Tony Tolbert of Michigan made a 15-foot shot with five seconds left in overtime and the Wolverines beat Wisconsin, 69-68, when Badger sophomore Larry Hisle missed two free throws after time had expired. Michigan is 9-7 and 2-4. Wisconsin is 8-7 and 2-3.
Kansas shot 85% in the second half and defeated Missouri, 91-64, in a Big Eight game at Lawrence, Kan., ending the Tigers’ seven-game winning streak. Missouri is 10-5 and 3-1. Former Cleveland High standout Adonis Jordan scored 24 points for Kansas (11-4, 1-2). . . . Cincinnati (9-6, 2-2) forced 24 turnovers by Virginia Tech in a 77-61 Metro Conference victory at Cincinnati. Virginia Tech (7-7, 1-4) has lost four consecutive games.
Indiana State lost its 41st consecutive Missouri Valley Conference road game, an 81-70 defeat to Bradley at Peoria, Ill.
Alabama did not allow Georgia to score a basket in the final 11 minutes of the first half during a 67-62 SEC victory at Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama is 10-5 and 4-2. Georgia is 10-6 and 3-4. . . . In his first start, freshman Craig Brown made four three-point shots for Florida in an 85-82 SEC victory over Mississippi State at Gainesville, Fla. The Gators (7-8, 3-3) ended a three-game losing streak. Mississippi State is 10-5 and 3-3.
North Carolina State made only four of 27 three-point shots during a 97-76 defeat to Wake Forest in an ACC game at Winston-Salem, N.C. Rodney Rogers scored 23 points for Wake Forest (8-5, 3-2). North Carolina State (8-4, 2-1) was held 24 points below its ACC-leading 100-point average. . . . Mark Macon scored a season-high 36 points as Temple (10-4) beat Clemson, 71-52, in a nonconference game at Clemson, S.C. Clemson is 9-7.
Matt Roe scored 15 of his 23 points during a second-half rally to lead Maryland (9-7) to an 87-81 victory over South Florida (11-3) in a nonconference game at Tampa, Fla.
Joey Wright made all six of his three-point shots and moved into sixth place on the all-time Texas scoring list with 1,477 points as the Longhorns (10-5) defeated DePaul, 90-80, at Austin, Tex. DePaul is 8-7.
At San Diego, Arthur Massey scored 15 points, including two free throws with 24 seconds left, as San Diego State (8-8, 3-3) beat Texas El Paso, 58-55, the Aztecs’ first victory in 12 games against the Miners (11-5, 3-3).