Jared Bynum scores 27 points, Providence defeat Xavier 99-92

Last updated February 25, 2022

A delay in the second half of Wednesday's game between Xavier and Providence might have been a sign that a long-awaited marathon was on the horizon. The teams played triple overtime before the Friars secured a 99-92 home win. The game was stopped with 2:43 left in the second half due to a leak in the roof of The Dunk Arena. It remained unclear if the issue would cause the game to be completed as officials were wiping the court even after the play resumed. Fortunately, the water issue didn't stop the festivities. Although the delay caused some chaos inside the building, it turned out to be one of the best games in the Big East this season. Not only was it a fun twist to the usual game, but it also featured some crazy moments, such as the replay monitor freezing up during a crucial moment in double overtime and a late flagrant foul to push the game to its third overtime. In addition to a game-high 27 points from Jared Bynum, the sophomore guard from Providence also had a huge game-clinching bucket in the third overtime. The win was the second straight for the Friars over the Xavier team. Paul Scruggs led Xavier with 19 points, but the team struggled from outside and lost its third straight game in the league. The win for Providence improved its record to 23-3 and gave it a chance to win its first Big East title as they host Creighton on Sunday.

Close triple-overtime game

Apart from Bynum, A.J. Reeves chipped in 16 points, and Al Durham scored 13 points for the first-place Friars, who have now won two straight overtime games. The Friars have not lost their overtime game in the last four matches. Additionally, the overtime win marks the first time Providence has 13 Big East wins. During his postgame interview, Providence coach Ed Cooley attributed the team's success to playing well in close games. "We're just really fortunate. For whatever reason, we play well in close games," he said. "That luck better come from somewhere. It's called talent." As for the Musketeers, Adam Kunkel and Scruggs led Xavier with 20 and 19 points. The team has lost its last two games and seven of its last ten. Musketeers coach Travis Steele noted that his boys lost because they ran out of stamina during the triple-overtime game. "Those guys, they emptied the tank out there," he said. "Give their guys credit, they made some big plays."

Providence struggles offensively in regulation

The Friars struggled to find an offensive rhythm in their previous game, which they won despite playing without leading scorer Durham due to a sports hernia. While he returned to beat the Musketeers, some hiccups in the offense were prevalent. The game was tied at 60 with 5:08 left in regulation before the Xavier went on a run, including a couple of critical three-point shots by Noah Horchler and Scruggs. After Providence committed a turnover on the ensuing possession, Justin Minaya's pass was intercepted by Scruggs, who then passed it to Deven Odom for a basket with 2:43 left in the game. Then the play was stopped because of the leaking roof. The Friars turned the ball over 17 times and were outrebounded by Xavier by a slim margin, 45-41. However, Providence managed to hang on to its shooting and stretch the game to triple overtime asking for a stamina battle.

Martin Efvergren
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