No. 11 UConn fights off Providence's attempted comeback
Jordan Hawkins scored 19 points and No. 11 UConn survived a furious second-half comeback by Providence to earn a 73-66 victory on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament in New York.
The fourth-seeded Huskies (25-7) led by 16 at intermission, and that lead ballooned to 24 by the 16:26 mark of the second half thanks to a 12-3 spurt that featured four points from Hawkins.
After Tristen Newton and Nahiem Alleyne sank back-to-back triples to push the margin to 26, the fifth-seeded Friars (21-11) came roaring back, putting together a monstrous 26-5 run to pull within five with 3:34 remaining.
Both teams traded buckets down the stretch, and it was still a five-point game in the final minute. However, Newton sank a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left to seal the win for UConn, which will face No. 1 seed Marquette in the semifinals on Friday.
Newton finished with 16 points and seven assists, while Adama Sanogo chipped in 10 points for the Huskies. Andre Jackson Jr. supplied nine points and six assists to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds.
UConn made 28 of 53 shots (52.8 percent) from the floor, including 13 of 30 (43.3 percent) from 3-point range.
Bryce Hopkins led Providence with 16 points and seven rebounds. Noah Locke notched 14 points while Devin Carter contributed nine for the Friars, who made just 6 of 23 shots (26.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Friars missed 10 of their first 13 shots, allowing UConn to jump out to a 16-7 lead with 11:54 left in the first half.
Jumpers from Clifton Moore and Alyn Breed momentarily stopped the bleeding and cut Providence's deficit to five, but the Huskies responded emphatically. Joey Calcaterra drained a pair of 3-pointers and Jackson threw down a vicious tomahawk dunk as part of a 19-8 run to close the half as UConn took a 35-19 advantage into the break.
Jackson and Hawkins each had seven points through the opening 20 minutes to pace the Huskies, who held the Friars to their lowest-scoring output in a half this season.
--Field Level Media
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