PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Marshon Brooks scored 19 of his team-high 25 points in the first half and Providence overcame a career-high 26 points by Shane Gibson and a late Sacred Heart comeback to score an 84-76 non-conference victory Tuesday night.
Providence of the Big East (11-2) built a 12-point lead against the Pioneers of the Northeast Conference with 12:03 left and then had to survive the late charge that twice brought Sacred Heart (4-8) to within three points. The Providence lead was cut to 77-74 with 1:08 left before the Friars beat the press, fed Bilal Dixon for slam dunk and earned some breathing room.
The loss, which ended the Pioneers' three-game winning streak, kept Sacred Heart coach Dave Bike from reaching the 500-win plateau, his first shot at the milestone. Bike is No. 20 among active coaches in wins and the loss was his 451st.