Cotton, Henton lift Providence over Xavier 81-72

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Bryce Cotton finished with 25 points and LaDontae Henton had 23 points and 11 rebounds as Providence held off Xavier 81-72 on Saturday.

The Friars (15-5, 5-2) have now won five straight Big East games, the program’s longest conference winning streak since 2004.

Justin Martin paced Xavier (15-5, 5-2) with 19 points with Semaj Christon coming up with 18 points. The Musketeers are in their first year in the Big East.

Kadeem Batts and Tyler Harris each contributed 12 points for PC, which shot 64 percent from the floor in the second half after connecting at a 29.4 percent clip in the opening 20 minutes. The Friars led 35-31 at halftime and are now 12-1 when holding the lead after the opening half.

Xavier did not register a field goal over the final two minutes. The Musketeers missed all four shots in the final minute.