PC Friars Beat Creighton in OT to take Big Step toward Big Dance
NEW YORK — (AP) Kyron Cartwright hit two go-ahead free throws with 1:32 left in overtime and added a crucial basket with 16 seconds to go and fifth-seeded Providence took a big step toward a fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth with a 72-68 win over fourth-seeded Creighton in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament on Thursday.
Cartwright had five of his 13 points in the extra five minutes in helping the Friars advance to a semifinal matchup with top-seeded Xavier. The Musketeers beat St. John’s 88-60 in the first quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden. The teams split two regular season games.
Alpha Diallo, whose putback layup with 12 seconds left in regulation forced the overtime, had 15 of his 19 points in the second half. Rodney Bullock also had 13. Jalen Lindsey added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Marcus Foster had 19 points to lead Creighton (21-11), which has wins over four ranked teams this season on its NCAA resume. Davion Mintz added 14, including four free throws in the final 45 seconds that gave the Bluejays a chance to tie when Diallo missed 1 of 2 free throws with nine seconds left, leaving Providence clinging to a 71-68 lead.
Mitch Ballock got a great look at a 3-pointer from the left wing in the waning seconds but his shot was short.
Jackson added a free throw to close out the scoring.
Neither team led by more than three points in a final 10:32 of a regulation that featured six lead changes and four ties, with the last coming when a persistent Diallo put in his own rebound with 12 seconds to play, tying the score at 59.
Creighton elected not to call a time out and Foster, of course, controlled the ball. He dribbled the ball from left to right and right to left as the seconds ticked off. As he was about to make his move, he lost control and got off a desperation shot, which missed by five feet.
This was typical Big East Tournament action. It was two teams who average in the 70s and 80s, playing grind it out basketball. Sure they ran up and down the court, but every shot was contested.
Providence: Will face top-seeded Xavier in the first semifinal Friday night.
Creighton: Wait for the NCAA Tournament selection show on Sunday.