GAME NOTES: The Providence Friars look to extend a three-game win streak as they host the Butler Bulldogs, one of the newest additions to the Big East Conference, Tuesday at Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Butler finally ended a five-game losing streak with an overtime victory against Marquette, 69-57, in Big East play Saturday. The win was Butler's first in-conference this season, and the first in the program's short Big East history.
After setting off on a three-game losing streak that included two overtime contests, the Friars have won three in a row in Big East play, including an 81-68 defeat of then-No. 20 ranked Creighton at home. The loss was Creighton's first in the conference this season.
This meeting between Providence and Butler represents the first in their program histories.
Butler trailed Marquette by as many as 12 points in the second half of their bout Saturday, but a Bulldogs' comeback forced overtime, where Butler easily prevailed. Kellen Dunham and Khyle Marshall each chipped in 18 points to lead the Bulldogs. Kameron Woods scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the double-double. Butler shot 41.4 percent from the floor in the contest, but went just 51.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Dunham and Marshall pace the Bulldogs as the only two players to average double-digit scoring totals. Dunham checks in at 18.4 ppg through 18 contests, while Marshall nets 15.8 ppg. Woods isn't far out of the double-digit point average. Woods scores 9.1 ppg and leads the team with an impressive 9.9 rpg clip. Alex Barlow is the team's top passer with a 3.3 apg average.
Providence used a 7-0 run to open the second half against Creighton as a vehicle for further destruction, as the Friars were able to hold Creighton, a team previously averaging 82 ppg, to 68 points in the contest. Bryce Cotton led the way for Providence with 23 points and six assists, while LaDontae Henton contributed 19 points. Kadeem Batts also chipped in 13 in the win.
Cotton is among the league leaders in scoring, averaging 20.4 ppg this season on 40 percent shooting from the floor. He also tops Providence with 105 assists on the season to just 39 turnovers. Tyler Harris is second on the team with a 13.2 ppg average, and Henton comes in at third with 13.1 ppg. Henton tops the Friars with a 7.3 rpg average. The Friars are scoring 73 ppg as a unit on 41.5 percent
Providence's game against the favored Creighton Bluejays proves that this team is capable of great things this season. Unless the Friars get over-confident after the upset, they should be able to take down the Bulldogs at home.
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