PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)Devin Carter had a career-high 25 points and No. 24 Providence outlasted No. 18 Creighton 94-86 in double overtime Tuesday night.
Bryce Hopkins and Noah Locke each scored 20 for the Friars (19-7, 11-4 Big East), who ended an eight-game winning streak for the Bluejays that began with a Jan. 14 victory over Providence at home.
”It was a great college basketball game if you didn’t care who won. It had to be a lot of fun to watch,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said.
With the victory, the Friars tied the Bluejays (17-9, 11-4) for third place in the Big East standings. Both teams are a half-game behind Xavier and a game back of first-place Marquette in a crowded race for the regular-season title.
Providence, the defending regular-season champion, improved to 14-0 at home this season and 9-1 in its past 10 games that went to overtime – including a pair of double-OT wins on its own court this season.
Ryan Nembhard led Creighton with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Arthur Kaluma and Trey Alexander both scored 17.
The game featured 20 lead changes and 17 ties. Providence finally pulled away in the second overtime, scoring the first five points and holding Creighton to just two late free throws after the Friars built a 92-84 lead.
”Obviously, we weren’t as efficient in the second overtime as we were in the first,” McDermott said. ”Defensively, we haven’t had a team do that to us in a long time.”
Carter also had eight rebounds and two blocks. The sophomore guard helped the Friars get off on the right foot in the second OT, converting a three-point play to snap an 84-all deadlock.
Carter’s father had a front-row seat for his son’s best game of the season. Anthony Carter is an assistant coach for the Miami Heat who played 13 years in the NBA.
”Devin affects the game in a number of different ways,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. ”You hear about all these different players around the country defensively. I wouldn’t take one player in America defensively – not one. We put him on everyone. We may put him on Julius Erving if he comes out of retirement. This man here is a stud defensively.”
END OF REGULATION
The Friars tied it at 73 with a minute remaining in the second half, and both teams had a chance to win in regulation. Hopkins missed a step-back jumper on the baseline with 14 seconds left, and Creighton’s last bid nearly resulted in a turnover near midcourt.
END OF FIRST OT
Providence opened an 82-78 lead after Hopkins made a 3-pointer, but Creighton tied it 84-all after Baylor Scheierman hit two free throws with 48.4 seconds left.
A sloppy possession resulted in PC committing a shot clock violation with 9.5 seconds to go. Creighton turned to Nembhard on the ensuing possession but Carter came up huge once again when he blocked Nembhard’s shot down low to extend the game another five minutes.
”I knew he was going to pump fake so I stayed down,” Carter said. ”Obviously, he has to shoot it with two seconds left. I jumped up and ended up blocking it.”
Hopkins played all 50 minutes. Ed Croswell was one of three Friars to log 45 or more as the senior big man chipped in with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting while holding his ground against Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner.
Creighton: The Bluejays are ranked for the second consecutive week after spending nine straight weeks outside the AP Top 25. Creighton was No. 9 in the preseason poll.
Providence: The Friars are ranked for the sixth week in a row. They moved into the AP Top 25 for the first time on Jan. 9.
Creighton: Plays at St. John’s on Saturday night.
Providence: Will host Villanova on Saturday.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25