Xavier battled all night long, but ultimately fell short, 64-62.
It was an even match-up through the first four minute war, with Providence only leading 7-6 with 15:52 remaining in the first half.
After Providence scored to make it 9-6, Xavier went on a 10-0 run to make the score 16-9 sparked by a steal and three-pointer from Quentin Goodin. Paul Scruggs also had a huge steal and slam after Providence broke the run to push Xavier’s lead back to seven, 18-11.
Providence would respond with a 9-2 run to tie the game at 20-20 with 7:17 until the end of the first half. The Friars stretched it to a 16-2 run over the next four minutes to take a 27-20 lead with just 3:39 remaining in the first half.
Xavier finally snapped the more than seven minute drought with a dunk by Tyrique Jones, and went into the half down 33-26.
The Musketeers opened with second half strong, connecting on four of their first five shots and trimming the lead to 38-35 with 16:28 remaining in the contest. Xavier fought back to take the lead, 41-40, before being tied 43-43 with 11:56 left in the game.
Xavier went through another scoring drought after, not scoring for 2:34 as Providence took a 51-45 lead with 8:12 left in the game. A Goodin three ended the drought and brought Xavier back within three, where they would be with 6:49 left and the score being 53-50.
Providence would outscore Xavier 9-2 over the next 3:14 to take a 62-52 lead with 3:35 left in the game. A 5-0 run by Xavier cut the lead to 62-57 and forced a Providence timeout with 2:09 left in the game. Providence was able to keep Xavier at arms length after the timeout, maintaining a five point, 64-59 lead with 1:03 remaining.
A three from Scruggs brought Xavier within two, 64-62, with 53 seconds left. That would end up as the final, as Providence came away with the victory.
Scruggs led the team in scoring with 14 points. He also chipped in four assists and three steals. Jones also finished in double-figures, finishing with 12 points in addition to seven rebounds.
Zach Hankins scored 12 points as well, while also getting two blocks. Kyle Castlin led the team in rebounds with 10.