BIG EAST scoring leader LaDontae Henton had 35 points to lead Providence over Creighton, 65-53, in a rematch of the 2014 BIG EAST Tournament title game.
Providence, which won the title game 65-58 at Madison Square Garden in March, rode quick starts in both halves en route to the victory.
The Friars are now 11-3 on the year (1-0 BIG EAST), while Creighton fell to 9-5 (0-1 BIG EAST).
Providence scored the game’s first eight points, including five from Henton, before a Zach Hanson basket dented the scoreboard for the visitors. Geoffrey Groselle then went to work, scoring six straight points before a James Milliken trey trimmed PC’s lead to 14-11.
Creighton continually worked the ball in to Groselle, who tied it at 22-all with 5:25 left in the first half, then gave CU a 24-22 lead after a dunk with 4:35 left in the first half. The Friars would counter with a 7-0 run before settling for a 32-28 lead at the break and never trailed again.
Groselle made all five of his shots in the first half to lead CU with 12 points, as the Bluejay bench accounted for 19 of the team’s 28 points. Henton had 17 points for PC while playing all 20 minutes in the first half.
Henton spurred a 10-2 run to open the second half for Providence, scoring eight points during the burst as the Friars took their largest lead to date. Just like the first half, CU slowly chipped away, and had the deficit down to 44-39 before a high-arching trey by Henton splashed through the net. That started a 12-0 run for the hosts that once again put the boisterous home crowd into a frenzy.
Groselle led Creighton in scoring with 14 points on the evening, part of a bench brigade that outscored the Friar reserves 29-5. Austin Chatman added 11 points, with nine coming after halftime. The Bluejays shot 35.8 percent for the game, including 5-of-21 from three-point range, and were also 10-of-14 at the line.
Henton scored 35 points and was the lone Providence player in double-figures, while Kris Dunn authored 12 assists for his third straight game of double-figure assists. Providence shot 44.4 percent overall, including 6-of-24 from deep, and sank 11-of-16 foul shots. The Friars won the rebound battle 34-32 and outscored CU 16-3 in transition.
Creighton remains on the road and will take on No. 25 Georgetown on Saturday at 3:37 pm Central.