Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Cotton leads Friars over Villanova, 55-52 ASSOCIATED PRESS,
So much for the wins against top-10 teams. Bryce Cotton knocked Villanova back to reality with a decisive 3-pointer that made it an unlikely season sweep for Providence.
Cotton hit the winning 3 with 2.2 seconds left and scored 18 points to lead the Friars to a 55-52 win over Villanova on Sunday.
The Friars squandered a nine-point lead with 4:34 left and seemed headed toward their second straight overtime game.
Vincent Council's missed jumper with 12 seconds left was rebounded by Josh Fortune. Instead of calling time out, Fortune got the ball to Cotton, and he buried the second-chance 3 from the top of the arc for the lead.
"We were just fortunate to make the shot for the win," Providence coach Ed Cooley said. "Hopefully, that shot carries them on to do bigger and better things."
Providence swept the Wildcats after beating them 69-66 on Jan. 19. The Friars had lost three straight close games since knocking off Villanova. They lost by four against Pittsburgh, by 10 at Marquette and fell to Connecticut in overtime on Thursday.
Cotton hit a tying 3-pointer late in regulation to help send the UConn game into OT.
"We're in close games," Cooley said. "I'm in the process of trying to teach our program what it is to win."
Providence grabbed only nine offensive rebounds, but once Fortune slipped under the basket to tip the ball to Cotton, all that was left was his winner.
The Friars needed him after they couldn't put away the Wildcats. JayVaughn Pinkston's driving bucket down the lane sliced Villanova's deficit to 52-50 with 46.8 seconds left. James Bell then intercepted a pass off a full-court press and was fouled. Bell hit both to make it 52-all with 42 seconds left.
Darrun Hilliard led the Wildcats (13-9, 4-5) with 17 points. Mouphtaou Yarou had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Villanova. The Wildcats had 18 turnovers.
The Wildcats followed a week of wins against top-10 teams Louisville and Syracuse with losses this week at Notre Dame and to the Friars.
"I definitely don't want our guys to panic," coach Jay Wright said. "I want them to just keep getting better. I think they will."
The Wildcats seemed to take control early in the second half. Hilliard connected with Bell on a high-flying alley-oop. Bell then forced a turnover at midcourt that led to Hilliard's layup for a 34-31 lead and brought the usual crowd of 6,500 to their feet for the first time. Ryan Arcidiacono converted a steal into a layup for a 38-35 lead.
Then the Wildcats went south, missing 10 straight shots over a 10-minute span until Bell scored a layup with 2:11 left.
"You've got to know, in this league, you can get beat any night," Hilliard said.
Louisville 70, Marquettte 51: Russ Smith scored 18 points, Peyton Siva added 14 and the No. 12 Cardinals shot 52 percent to run away from the No. 25 Golden Eagles.
The lopsided outcome was somewhat surprising considering what was at stake for both teams in the Big East.
Marquette had an opportunity to take a one-game lead on Syracuse, but the Golden Eagles were left settling for a first-place tie with the Orange. The Cardinals (18-4, 6-3), meanwhile, moved a half-game closer to both schools with their second straight win, remaining in a four-way tie for third.
The Cardinals finished 27 of 52 from the field after an 0-for-8 start while holding the Golden Eagles (15-5, 6-2) to 36 percent shooting (19 of 53). They also outrebounded Marquette 38-26.
Gorgui Dieng added eight points and eight rebounds for Louisville.
Vander Blue had 17 points and Trent Lockett 16 for the Golden Eagles, who have dropped two of their last four games.
Minnesota 62, Iowa 59: Austin Hollins hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds left, lifting the No. 23 Gophers to the victory.
Hollins finished with 17 points to help the Gophers (17-5, 5-4 Big Ten) survive a rough second half and escape the scrappy Hawkeyes (14-8, 3-6).
With Minnesota trailing 59-57, the 6-foot-4 Hollins came off a screen to get open in the corner on an inbounds play and made the shot over 6-foot-1 Mike Gesell. Hollins then hounded Gesell in the corner on the other end to force the ball out of bounds.
Lehigh 85, Army 76: Mackey McKnight scored 21 points and Lehigh shot 62.1 percent in the first half en route to the Patriot League victory.
The Mountain Hawks (16-5, 6-1) led by as many as 22 points in the first half and 47-31 at halftime after making 18 of 29 shots, including 5 of 9 on 3-pointers. Anthony D'Orazio scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half and had 10 rebounds in the game.