Providence Survives St. John’s Comeback To Advance To Big East Semifinals

Providence beats St. John's 79-74 to reach semis

       NEW YORK (AP) – Josh Fortune scored a career-high 24 points and Providence advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals for the first time in 17 years by hanging on for a 79-74 victory over St. John's on Thursday.

        The Friars, who led by 17 points with 6:24 to play had their lead cut to one point with 1:15 to go, but will play eighth-seeded Seton Hall in the semifinals on Friday night. The Pirates beat top-seeded and third-ranked Villanova 64-63 on a buzzer-beating jumper by Sterling Gibbs.

        It will be the Friars' first semifinal appearance since 1997. They lost their last five games in the Big East tournament.

        The win may not guarantee Providence (21-11) an at-large berth but the loss almost surely ended the chance of the Red Storm (20-12) to make the field of 68.