The Mercury News

Providence shuts down Creighton, avenges a defeat

- By The Associated Press

Nate Watson scored a career-high 29 points and Providence turned back Creighton each time it pulled close to beat the 11th-ranked Bluejays 7470 on Wednesday night in Omaha, Neb.

Providence (8-6, 4-4 Big East) won for the first time in four games and avenged a crushing loss to the Bluejays three weeks ago. Creighton (10-4, 6-3) lost its second straight after one of its worst offensive games of the season.

The Friars built an early 17-point lead behind the strong inside play of the 6-foot-10, 260-pound Watson. Creighton battled back to 39-34 at halftime, fell behind by double digits in the second half and then made late runs that fell short.

Mitch Ballock snaked inside for his only basket, but David Duke banked in a contested 3-pointer from the left wing on the Friars’ next possession to make it 70-65.

The teams traded free throws before Marcus Zegarowski banked in a onehanded 3 of his own with 5.6 seconds left. Duke put the game out of reach with two free throws at the end.

GEORGIA TECH 83, NO. 20 CLEMSON 65>> Georgia Tech returned from a 17-day layoff with one of its most impressive showings of the season, routing the Tigers as three players scored more than 20 points in Atlanta. Michael Devoe led the way with 22 points, while Moses Wright and Jordan Usher chipped in with 21 apiece for the Yellow Jackets (7-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Clemson is 9-3, 3-3.

NO. 8 HOUSTON 86, TULSA 59>> Marcus Sasser scored 26 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 points and the Cougars (12-1, 7-1 American)avenged its only loss in Houston.

NO. 10 WISCONSIN 68, NORTHWESTE­RN 52>> Tyler Wahl paced a balanced attack with 14 points and the Badgers (12-3, 6-2 Big Ten) pulled away in the second half to beat the Wildcats (6-7, 3-6) in Madison, Wis.

Women

LADY VOLS SET TO HOST

UCONN, TRYING TO REBUILD Kellie

HOOPS PROGRAM >>

Harper feels the shadow of Pat Summitt still looms over the Tennessee Lady Vols, as well as the expectatio­ns that come with coaching the winningest program in women’s college basketball history.

The second-year Tennessee head coach also knows the program is a shadow of what it was under Summitt, and that trying to be her is not the way to build a contender.

“That’s just not going to work,” Harper said. “And what I can do is be the best me that I can possibly be. A me that learned from her, that played for her, that gave everything I had to the program. But at the end of the day, you’re going to sell yourself short if you’re trying to be somebody that you’re not.”

One lesson Harper learned well while winning three national championsh­ips playing for Summitt is play the best teams in the nation anywhere, anytime.

That’s why No. 25 Tennessee (9-2) will host No. 3 UConn (8-0) for the first time in 15 years tonight in the second game of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Revival Series.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma passed Summitt with his 1,099th career win Tuesday night. He now has 11 national championsh­ips, his last in 2016, and his Huskies remain a top five program.

Tennessee’s eighth and last title was in 2008.

 ?? JOHN PETERSON — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Creighton guard Marcus Zegarowski makes a layup after getting inside on Providence forward Jimmy Nichols Jr.
JOHN PETERSON — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Creighton guard Marcus Zegarowski makes a layup after getting inside on Providence forward Jimmy Nichols Jr.

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