PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Kyron Cartwright had 19 points, nine assists and four steals to help Providence beat No. 5 Xavier 81-72 on Saturday, snapping the Musketeers’ 10-game winning streak and ending the best start in their school’s history.
Rodney Bullock scored 17 points, with six rebounds and two blocked shots, as Providence (11-6, 2-2 Big East) beat a ranked team for the first time this season. It was the Friars’ 11th win over a top-five team and their first since beating No. 4 Villanova two years ago.
Kerem Kanter had 24 points and 12 rebounds — eight on the offensive boards — in 20 minutes for Xavier (15-2, 3-1). Tyrique Jones, who had 12 points and seven rebounds, was the only other Musketeer to make more than half his shots.
To counter a 44-28 rebounding advantage for Xavier — and a 22-0 whitewash in second-chance points — Providence had 11 steals and nine blocks and scored 19 points off turnovers to six for the Musketeers.
Providence fell behind early but scored nine straight points to turn a five-point deficit into a 14-10 lead and never trailed again. After Xavier tied it 16-all, the Friars scored eight in a row — starting with a three-point play by Cartwright and a 3-pointer from Bullock — and then made it double digits on Jalen Lindsey‘s 3 with 5:47 left in the half.
Trailing 40-32 at the half, Xavier scored five straight to open the second and got within two points with 13 minutes to play. But Providence extended its lead to nine points, 68-59, with under eight to play, and the Musketeers never got closer than six.
Xavier: Thus ends the second-longest win streak for the team under coach Chris Mack. The Musketeers, who had been off to a 3-0 Big East start and 15-1 overall record, both the best in school history, might have been looking ahead to No. 3 Villanova on Wednesday. Mack remains one win shy of tying Pete Gillen for most victories by an Xavier coach.
Providence: PC is 5-1 against Xavier in Providence, including last year’s victory in February. The Friars went 3-6 against ranked teams last season.
Xavier: At No. 3 Villanova on Wednesday.
Providence: At DePaul on Friday.