Jones Hits Game-Winning 3-Pointer, Xavier Beats Providence 74-73

CINCINNATI, OH — Colby Jones nailed a game-winning 3-pointer with one tenth of a second left in the game and Xavier defeated Providence 74-73 in their Big East Conference battle on Sunday. Box Score

Trailing by two points in the closing seconds, Paul Scruggs wiggled his way out of trouble near the baseline to find Jones, who quickly settled his feet and connect from long range over the outstretched arms of closing Jimmy Nichols Jr. as the time ticked off.

Jones’ shot capped an eight-point burst for the Xavier in the final minute.

The Musketeers (10-2, 3-2 Big East Conference) trailed 73-66 with 1:13 left after David Duke and Noah Horchler hit back-to-back 3-pointers for Providence, which built its lead by using an 11-0 run across two minutes.

However, Nate Johnson buried a triple and Zach Freemantle made another bucket from a jumper in the lane to pull Xavier with two points at 73-71 with 45 seconds to play before Jones drilled the winning basket.

The victory handed Xavier its second in a row after falling to then-No. 13 Creighton and  Seton Hall in previous weeks.

Freemantle finished with 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the way for the Musketeers, who shot 48.3% from the field went 9 for 14 from 3-pointers in the last seven minutes.

Johnson added 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting, which included four 3-pointers to go with four rebounds and two steals, while Jones scored nine points in the win.

A.J. Reeves had a game-high 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting, which included seven 3-pointers to go along with six rebounds to lead the Friars.

Nate Watson added a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds and shot 8 of 11 from the floor for Providence, which lost despite shooting 51.8% from the field and 59.1% from 3-point range.

Final Score: Xavier 74, Providence 73

PROVIDENCE (7-5)

Nichols 3-7 0-0 7, Watson 8-11 1-4 17, Breed 1-2 0-0 2, Duke 11-18 1-2 30, Reeves 3-12 0-0 9, Gantt 1-2 0-0 3, Horchler 1/3 0-0 3, Croswell 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-56 2-6 73.

XAVIER (10-2)

Carter 2-6 0-0 4, Freemantle 7-15 3-4 17, Johnson 5-8 0-3 14, Jones 4-6 0-0 9, Scruggs 2-7 3-4 8, Odom 1/3 1-2 3, Kunkel 4-9 0-1 8, Griffin 2-2 1-2 5, Wilcher 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 29-60 8-16 74.

Halftime–Xavier 35-34. 3-Point Goals–Providence 13-22 (Duke 7-9, Reeves 3-6, Gantt 1-1, Nichols 1-2, Horchler 1-3, Breed 0-1), Xavier 8-23 (Johnson 4-6, Wilcher 2-3, Jones 1-1, Scruggs 1-3, Odom 0-1, Carter 0-2, Freemantle 0-2, Kunkel 0-5). Rebounds–Providence 28 (Watson 14), Xavier 30 (Freemantle 8). Assists–Providence 20 (Duke 6), Xavier 20 (Kunkel 5). Total Fouls–Providence 13, Xavier 9. A–300 (10,250).

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