Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Stainbrook led the way with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists, as the Xavier Musketeers handed the Providence Friars a 59-53 defeat in a Big East Conference battle at the Cintas Center.
Justin Martin also finished with 13 points to help the Musketeers (16-7, 6-4 Big East) snap a three-game skid, while Semaj Christon added 12 points for the victors.
For the Friars (16-8, 6-5), Josh Fortune led all scorers with 17 points, LaDontae Henton scored 14 and Carson Desrosiers pulled down 11 rebounds. Xavier held Bryce Cotton, the conference's second-leading scorer coming into the day, to just nine points on the day.
Providence shot 41.9 percent from the field to in the first half, including 3- of-9 from 3-point range, as the Friars held the slim lead at halftime, 32-31. Xavier shot the ball well in the first, hitting on 47.8 percent of its field goal tries, but it missed all but one of its seven 3-point attempts in the period.
After intermission, the Musketeers continued to have trouble from long range, missing both of their shots from beyond the arc, as part of a 40 percent shooting performance in the half. They did turn up the defensive pressure, holding the Friars to just 32 percent shooting from the field and 3-of-10 from 3-point distance. The Musketeers opened the second half on a 9-2 run and never trailed the rest of the way, though the game stayed close the entire period. The Friars got as close as one in the final two minutes but could never completely close the gap, as Xavier held on down the stretch, forcing two Providence turnovers in the final minute to seal the victory.
Xavier was dominant down low, outscoring Providence in the paint, 36-20. The Musketeers also had the advantage at the charity stripe, outscoring the Friars at the free-throw line, 12-5.