College basketball roundup

Friars storm back, knock off UConn

Providence rally gets by Huskies

Bryce Cotton scored 22 points for Providence last night.
Steven Senne/Associated Press
Bryce Cotton scored 22 points for Providence last night.

Bryce Cotton scored 22 points as Providence took down visiting Connecticut last night, 72-70.

The Huskies (17-12, 7-10 Big East) led by 2 at halftime, then started the second half with an 11-1 run and eventually built a 14-point lead.

Cotton’s four 3-pointers led a charge by Providence (15-15, 4-13), giving the Friars a 63-55 advantage.


The Huskies scored the next 6 points, but Friars freshman LaDontae Henton stopped their charge with two 3-pointers to create a 69-61 lead.

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Jeremy Lamb retaliated with two triples of his own to close the gap, and the teams traded free throws until the score was 72-69.

Cotton fouled Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier with 3.5 seconds to play, and Napier hit his first free throw. He missed the second on purpose, but time expired as the players scrambled for a rebound.

Duke 79, Wake Forest 71 - Ryan Kelly scored a career-high 23 points and the No. 4 Blue Devils held on to beat the host Demon Deacons for their seventh straight win.

Kelly put up at least 20 points against Wake Forest (13-16, 4-11 ACC) for the third straight time, and Seth Curry finished with 15 points for Duke (26-4, 13-2). The Blue Devils led by 23 points with 9 1/2 minutes left before Wake Forest made things tense late.


Indiana 70, Michigan St. 55 - Cody Zeller scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo added 13, leading the No. 18 Hoosiers past the No. 5 Spartans, their third victory at home over a top-5 team this season.

The Hoosiers (22-7, 10-7 Big Ten) are the second team to achieve that feat this season, joining Kansas. Indiana upset No. 1 Kentucky and No. 2 Ohio State in December and now the Spartans, who could have clinched their second outright Big Ten title in four seasons with a victory.

Michigan State (24-6, 13-4) can still win the outright crown with a victory over No. 10 Ohio State on Sunday.

Wisconsin 52, Minnesota 45 - Jordan Taylor scored 22 points to lead the No. 14 Badgers over the visiting Golden Gophers that clinched a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament.

Both teams shot poorly, there were 43 fouls called, and the teams combined to shoot 58 free throws.


But the Badgers (22-8, 11-6) found their shooting touch in the second half to secure at least a fourth-place finish in the conference.

Minnesota (17-13, 5-12) led at halftime, 23-16. But Wisconsin opened the second half on a 16-4 run and pushed the lead to 44-34 with just under 7 minutes to go on consecutive 3-pointers.

Vanderbilt 77, Florida 67 - John Jenkins hit six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, and the host Commodores beat the No. 16 Gators to clinch a first-round bye in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Vanderbilt (21-9, 10-5) outshot the nation’s top 3-point shooting team behind Jenkins, and he easily topped his average of 3.9 3-pointers by hitting his first five from beyond the arc. They are tied with Florida (22-8, 10-5) for second in the SEC with one game left in the regular season.

Miami center Reggie Johnson’s eligibility has been restored by the NCAA, and he is expected to play for the Hurricanes in their game at North Carolina State tonight.

Johnson was ruled ineligible by Miami late last week after an investigation revealed that members of his family accepted “impermissible travel benefits’’ from a member of the school’s former coaching staff. The university said Johnson was not aware of the benefits, personally accepted nothing, and that his family had been told they were allowed.

The NCAA told Miami that Johnson “must repay the value of benefits that were unknowingly received from a member of the former coaching staff’’ and sit out one game. Johnson satisfied the second of those requirements by missing Miami’s win over then-No. 15 Florida State on Sunday night.

Johnson is averaging 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds.