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Xavier takes down Providence at Dunkin’ Donuts Center

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

A strong second half and big day from junior center Tyrique Jones led the Xavier Musketeers to their fifth win of Big East play Saturday afternoon, as the Musketeers defeated the Providence Friars, 75-61.

After a back and forth start to the game, the Friars got control midway through the half and led by as many as nine points before heading into the break up by six. Nate Watson, David Duke, and Alpha Diallo combined for 24 of Providence’s 32 points, as it seemed like the trio would have great success all afternoon.

However, the second half was a much different story. Duke and Diallo were held scoreless, combining for just four shots. Watson had six more points, but the Friars were unable to get anything going for long periods of time. On the other side, Jones picked up right where he left off in the first half. The big man had nine points and six rebounds going into the half, and got 10 more points and six more rebounds in the second half to finish the day with 19 points and 12 rebounds, both team highs for Xavier. Quentin Goodin also excelled in the second frame, recording 12 of his 13 points. The Musketeers got hot from beyond the arc in the second half, as well. They made six of their seven three-point attempts, which played a big part in outscoring the Friars by 20 over the final 20 minutes.

The Musketeers now move to 5-8 in Big East play, joining the crowded five-win field of Butler, Georgetown, and DePaul (though one of Butler or DePaul will have six wins by the end of the night). They’ll look to pick up their third consecutive win on Wednesday when they travel to Newark to face Seton Hall.

Providence falls to 4-9 in conference play, putting them in the cellar of the Big East. They’ll look to get back on track Wednesday as they host St. John’s.