NEWARK, N.J. -- Bryce Cotton scored 13 of his 23 points in the first half, leading Providence to a 67-55 victory over Seton Hall in Big East action Sunday.
The Friars (9-7) captured their first Big East win after three losses.Providence took total command of the game with a 22-5 first-half run, keeping the Pirates (12-5, 1-3) off the scoreboard for almost a full six minutes. The Friars led by as many as 20 as the outcome was never in serious doubt after the first half.Besides Cotton, who also had nine rebounds, Providence received 12 points and 13 rebounds from LaDontae Henton. Vincent Council and Kadeem Batts each added 11 points. Council also had eight assists.Seton Hall was paced by Fuquan Edwin, who finished with17 points, although he was plagued by foul trouble the entire game. Haralds Karlis added a season-high 11 points.The Friars put the defensive clamps down on the Pirates in the first half. Cotton had six points during a 10-0 spurt, doing a variety of things like an offensive tip-in and a corner shot off the backboard.Seton Hall made a bit of a run, thanks to the aggressive play of Karlis off the bench. Karlis had two conventional three-point plays during a stretch in which the Pirates climbed to within 28-19.But the Friars outscored Seton Hall 10-2 over the final 4:43 to take a commanding 38-22 lead at halftime.At one point of the first half, the Pirates had taken just 15 shots, because they committed an astounding 14 turnovers, many of which were unforced.The Pirates were also hurt by two early fouls committed by Brandon Mobley, forcing him to the bench for most of the half.Seton Hall cut the lead to 49-35 on a driving basket by Aaron Cosby with 12:51 remaining. Cosby had eight points in the first seven minutes of the second half.Tom Maayan nailed a 3-pointer, then made a driving layup with 11:02 to go, bringing the Pirates to within 49-40, the closest they had been since early in the first half.But Cotton hit a long 3-pointer with 6:54 left, pushing the Providence lead to 58-44 and the Friars coasted from there.