(Neb)-Creighton Tops Providence In Big East QFs
By TOM CANAVAN - AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Khyri Thomas scored 19 points and Creighton went on a game-changing 13-2 spurt with leading scorer Marcus Foster on the bench with foul problems early in the second half in posting a 70-58 victory over turnover-plagued Providence in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament Thursday night.
The win was only the second in the last five games for the sixth-seeded Bluejays (24-8), and it set up a semifinal matchup against seventh-seeded Xavier (21-12), which knocked off second-seeded Butler in the opener of the nightcap doubleheader at Madison Square Garden.
Second-ranked and top-seeded Villanova will play Seton Hall in the other semifinal of the tournament that lost its second, third and fourth seeds (Butler, Providence (20-12) and Marquette) on Thursday.
Foster finished with 15 points but he was only on the floor for one point in the game-deciding run. Cole Huff added 10 points and freshman of the year Justin Patton had nine points and eight rebounds.
Kyron Cartwright had 15 points to lead Providence, which committed 15 of its 22 turnovers in the second half.
Trailing 30-27 entering the second half, Creighton took control after Foster picked up his third foul less than two minutes into the half.
Davion Mintz had hit a free throw to cut the lead to two points but the run came with Foster watching. Thomas, the conference's defensive player of the year, tied the game with two free throws and Huff then gave the Bluejays the lead with a 3-pointer.
A foul-line jumper by Thomas and a big dunk by Patton pushed the lead to 37-30.
After Cartwright hit a layup, Patton made a free throw and Mintz hit a jumper for Creighton, which made four of its first five shots in the half. Providence never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Creighton: After struggling down the stretch, the Bluejays showed why they are one of the nation's top teams. Don't forget this team was ranked all but two weeks this season.
Providence: The Friars had their six-game winning streak snapped but they have the talent to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, especially if Bullock plays better and they hold onto the ball.
Creighton: Will face No. 7 seeded Xavier in Friday's semifinals.
Providence: Will face television Sunday to find out where it will be playing in the NCAA tournament.
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