By BRENDAN McGAIR
NEW YORK – After getting off to a dreadful start, the Providence Friars finished the first half on a high note to trail Cincinnati by 31-23 at halftime at Madison Square Garden.
If you saw how PC began this Big East Tournament contest, you too would be thrilled to trail by a respectable margin heading into the final 20 minutes. Ed Cooley’s club opened the game missing 11 of 12 shots while Cincinnati carved away at PC’s man-to-man defense. The Bearcats – who desperately need a win to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes afloat – sprinted out to a 26-8 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Jaquon Parker.
The Friars finished the half on a 13-3 surge that featured Kris Dunn tossing up an ally-oop pass that Bryce Cotton slammed in – one of the few easy hoops PC managed. PC ended up shooting 9-for-32 (28.1 percent) with Cotton leading the way with eight points. Cincy’s Parker leads all scorers with 10 points.