Wednesday, March 05, 2014
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Providence 81, Marquette 80 (2 OT)

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[March 05, 2014]  PROVIDENCE, R.I.  Providence 81, Marquette 80 (2 OT): Bryce Cotton capped a 25-point effort with the decisive free throws in the closing seconds as the Friars outlasted the visiting Golden Eagles in a thriller between Big East teams resting on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Cotton, who played all 50 minutes, hit 13-of-15 from the free-throw line but none bigger than the two he made after forcing a turnover with 10 seconds left and then getting fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass. LaDontae Henton scored 20 points and grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds and Josh Fortune had all of his 15 points after halftime for Providence (20-10, 10-7), which snapped a 10-game losing streak versus Marquette and moved into a third-place tie with Xavier in the conference.

Todd Mayo scored 21 of his career-high 26 points after halftime to lead Marquette (17-13, 9-8), including three free throws in the closing seconds of regulation to force the first overtime. Davante Gardner collected 15 points and 10 rebounds and Jamil Wilson had 11 points and a career-best 14 boards as the Golden Eagles finished with a 54-39 advantage on the boards.

Gardner scored and Mayo hit two free throws to give Marquette an 80-77 lead with 28 seconds left before Henton scored in the lane to make it a one-point game with 10 ticks remaining. Cotton tied up Jake Thomas on the Golden Eagles' inbounds pass  giving possession to the hosts  and was fouled moments later, hitting both at the line before Mayo missed at the buzzer.

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Fortune had two four-point plays in the second half, the second of which put Providence up 59-56 with 24 seconds to go, but he then fouled Mayo beyond the arc on the other end to allow the Golden Eagles to force the extra session. Mayo's 3-pointer made it 71-70 with 29 seconds left in the first OT before Carson Desrosiers split a pair of free throws at the other end and Mayo missed at the horn to send it to a second overtime.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Henton had 14 points in the first half to help Providence take a 29-27 lead at the break. ... Gardner hit a shot from three-quarters court at the end of regulation but it came just after the buzzer. ... Providence became the first team in Big East history to play four double-overtime games in a season.

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