No. 8 West Virginia Tops Providence To End Two-Game Slide

Read more at our Mountaineer blog, The Smoking Musket.

Providence, RI (Sports Network) - Devin Ebanks posted 21 points and seven rebounds, leading the eighth-ranked Mountaineers to an 88-74 victory over Providence in Big East action.

West Virginia (20-5, 9-4 Big East), which had dropped two in a row, including a triple-overtime decision vs. rival Pittsburgh last Friday, used a 23-0 run early on and quelled Providence's (12-14, 4-10) hot start to the second half to come away victorious.

Wellington Smith and Da'Sean Butler each scored 16 points, with Smith also grabbing 10 rebounds for the Mountaineers, who won the battle in the paint, 50-20.

Jamine Peterson carried the Friars with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Brian McKenzie, Vincent Council and Marshon Brooks each netted 13 points in defeat.

Sharaud Curry came in averaging 15.5 points but went 0-for-10 from the field and ended with eight points in the setback, Providence's sixth straight.

The Friars shot 24.0 percent from the field in the first half and trailed by 18 at the break. However, they scored the first 10 points out of the locker room to get the Dunkin' Donuts Center crowd back in the game.

Peterson and Duke Mondy each hit from behind the arc, and the former added a layup to cut the gap to 46-38 just two minutes in.

The deficit was as low as six, 48-42, several possessions later, but West Virginia took over from the there, scoring nine consecutive points for some breathing room.

Butler's jumper with just over 13 minutes remaining ended the run, which culminated in a 57-42 edge, and the margin was double digits the rest of the way.

The visitors trailed by two early on before embarking on a seemingly back- breaking 23-0 flurry.

Providence missed eight field goals and committed four turnovers during the seven-minute stretch, during which Butler converted a pair of three-point plays.

Deniz Kilicli's layup near the 11-minute mark finished off the run for a commanding 25-4 cushion, and West Virginia cruised to a 46-28 halftime lead.

The Mountaineers have won the last six meetings vs. the Friars, who play their fourth straight top-10 foe next Tuesday when they host Syracuse...West Virginia next hosts Seton Hall on Saturday...West Virginia outrebounded Providence, 43-28...The Friars made 37.5 percent from the field overall...Darryl Bryant hit all 10 of his free throws en route to a 14-point effort for West Virginia.

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