Things started slow for Providence and Marquette Wednesday night at Alumni Hall. The first basket did not come until more than three and a half minutes had passed, when Alyn Breed’s jumper opened the scoring. Halfway into the first period, Marquette led 9-8. Neither team could find a scoring touch, combining to shoot 7-19 through the opening ten minutes.
David Duke and A.J. Reeves began to catch fire over the final ten minutes of the half. The pair scored all of Providence’s points as the Friars outscored Marquette 17-9 over that period. Duke hit four shots from the field, including a 3-pointer, while Reeves had a 3 of his own plus five shots from the free throw line. They combined for a 7-0 run over the last 2:57 of the half, building a 25-18 lead at the break for Providence.
After combining for 38 points in the first meeting between the schools, Providence’s Nate Watson and Marquette’s Dawson Garcia were held scoreless in the opening frame.
Marquette began to fight back in the second half. Led by Koby McEwen, the Golden Eagles took a 36-35 lead with 12:07 remaining. McEwen scored 8 of Marquette’s first 18 to open the frame, including the jump shot that put them ahead. Dawson Garcia also got on the board and added 4 to aid the comeback effort.
David Duke and the Friars would answer swiftly. Providence went on a 14-7 run, shooting 4-4 from the field and 5-6 from the line over the next four minutes. Duke added 7 of those, building his total to 23 points for the game.
Down 49-43, the Golden Eagles mounted another charge. This time, it was an 11-2 run, punctuated by a Greg Elliot 3-pointer that gave Marquette a 54-51 advantage with 4:57 to play. Elliot had 5 points on this stretch, with D.J. Carton contributing 4 as well.
A.J. Reeves answered with a 3-pointer to tie the score with 3:41 remaining. From there on, both teams were even. A Theo John dunk equalized things at 59 with under a minute to play, and neither team was able to score for the rest of regulation. Providence and Marquette were headed to overtime.
The extra frame was all Friars. Two slams from Carton were not enough for Marquette, and Duke scored the first 6 of the period for Providence. Leading 65-63 with under a minute to play in overtime, freshman Alyn Breed sunk a 3-pointer from the corner to put the nail in the coffin. Four made free throws from Providence later, and Ed Cooley’s team walked away with a much-needed 72-63 win.
David Duke led all scorers with a season-high 31 points. Duke shot 10-22 from the field, including 4-8 from beyond the arc, while collecting 6 rebounds, dishing out 6 assists, and picking up 3 steals. A.J. Reeves also finished in double-figures for the Friars, scoring 13 points. Koby McEwen led Marquette with 13 points.
Providence heads to Georgetown to take on the Hoyas this Saturday, while Marquette will host Butler next Tuesday.