Providence 64, Boston College 57
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)
''A lot of people say, `Why do you give the ball to a freshman?''' said coach Ed Cooley. ''He's a college basketball player. I don't look at him as a freshman anymore.''
Henton entered the contest averaging 18 points and nine rebounds over the last three games.
''My first couple of games I played pretty good, but now, I'm feeling like I've got a rhythm,'' Henton said.
Ryan Anderson, California's Mr. Basketball last season, led BC with a career-high 16 points. Patrick Heckmann had 12 and Dennis Clifford added 10.
But the Eagles shot just 33 percent from the field. Providence's defense was led by Brice Kofane, who finished with seven blocks.
''I thought Kofane was the player of the game,'' Cooley said. ''I thought his energy really helped us with this W.''
BC defeated Providence in an 88-86 game a year ago, but that was a very different Eagles team.
Only two players who scored against the Friars last season played for BC in this year's matchup. After losing 10 letter winners from last year, the Eagles' top four scorers Thursday were all freshmen.
Both teams came out cold, and Providence led just 4-3 after 6 minutes.
Bilal Dixon, whose points per game had fallen from 5.7 last year to 2.9 this season, helped Providence regain the lead by scoring all six of his points in the waning minutes of the half. The forward also finished with 10 rebounds.
On the final play of the first half, Henton had a put-back to give the Friars a 30-26 lead.
The Friars maintained a slim lead for most of the second half, and BC was down only 56-53 with three minutes left.
''I thought we played well tonight,'' said BC coach Steve Donahue. ''But the margin of error is so little.''
With just over a minute remaining, Henton got the ball in the post, missed a shot, got his own rebound and then muscled a second try over two defenders to give the Friars a comfortable seven-point lead.
''Coach drew it up for me to get the ball in the post,'' Henton said. ''That's what I'm here for-to add a multidimensional game-inside and out.''
The victory was Cooley's 100th as a coach, all but eight of which came at Fairfield University, where he coached before this season. He has 71 losses.
''I'm looking forward to 101 because that's the next one,'' Cooley said. ''I want to coach my 800th win at Providence College.''