PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence's LaDontae Henton converted a three-point play with 25.6 seconds remaining, to break a 77-77 tie and lift the Friars to an 82-77 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Junior guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) and sophomore forward Dave Dudzinski (Elburn, Ill.) led the Crusaders with 21 points each. Holy Cross falls to 2-5 on the season with the loss, while the Friars improve to 5-2 overall.
Dudzinski hit nine of 13 shots from the field and set a new career high in scoring for the second straight game, in addition to grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds. Evans' 21 points were his highest total this season, to go along with four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
The Friars started the game hot, and jumped out to a quick 15-9 lead after the first five minutes of play. The Crusaders responded with a 13-4 spurt over the next four minutes to take a 22-19 lead, with Dudzinski and Evans both scoring four points during that run. Providence had pulled back in front by one (28-27) with eight minutes remaining before the break, when it went on a 15-5 run to pull in front by 11 points. The Friars eventually took a 47-38 advantage into the locker room.
Holy Cross was still down by nine points (57-48) with 15:24 left to play, when Providence scored the next seven points to extend its lead to 16 (64-48). The Friars' lead was at 15 points (66-51) with 12 minutes remaining, when the Crusaders used an 11-0 run over the next four and a half minutes to make it a four-point game. Holy Cross would later tie the score at 69-69 on a three-pointer by junior center Phil Beans (Toledo, Ohio) with 6:20 left to play, and regained the lead (75-73) with 2:23 to go on a layup by Evans. But after the Crusaders led 77-75 with 1:28 to go, Providence scored the final seven points to claim the victory.
Freshman guard Justin Burrell (Dumfries, Va.) had a career-high 15 points, six assists and two steals for Holy Cross. Bryce Cotton led the Friars with 24 points, followed by Vincent Council with 19 points, Gerard Coleman with 18 points and Henton with 17 points.
Holy Cross returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 3, when it plays host to New Hampshire at 7:00 p.m.