PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Lamar Patterson scored 17 points, leading Pittsburgh to a 68-64 victory over Providence on Tuesday night.
The Panthers (16-4, 4-3 Big East) never trailed the Friars (10-9, 2-5), but never led by more than 12.
Patterson made 7 of 10 shots from the field and also led the Panthers with seven rebounds.
J.J. Moore, Talib Zanna and Tray Woodall each scored nine points for the Panthers.
Bryce Cotton led the Friars with 24 points, shooting 4-for-9 from 3-point range. Kadeem Batts added 17 and led the team with nine rebounds.
Pittsburgh took an early 7-2 lead, fueled by five points and two blocks from center Steven Adams. Adams left with two fouls only 3 minutes into the game, however, and didn’t return until the second half.
Providence’s LaDontae Henton also picked up two early fouls.
Patterson stepped up in Adams’ place down low, scoring 11 first-half points as Pittsburgh took a 34-27 lead.
Cotton, after not scoring until 7 minutes remained in the half, scored the Friars’ last 13 points, including three treys.
The Panthers got off to another fast start in the second half, using quick buckets from Woodall, Zanna, Patterson, and Trey Zeigler to take a 42-32 lead, their largest of the second half.
Batts responded for Providence, scoring the Friars’ next eight points to cut the lead to 44-40 with 11:36 remaining.
Pittsburgh appeared to be in control with 2:24 remaining after Moore’s 3-pointer gave the Panthers a 63-53 lead.
But the Friars went on an 11-3 run, closing the gap to 66-64 on a 3-pointer by Cotton with 11 seconds. The junior guard had seven points during that span.
Pittsburgh put the game out of reach on the ensuing possession when point guard James Robinson made two free throws.
Although Pittsburgh did not shoot much from 3-point range, it made 4 of 7 attempts. Providence was 6 of 17 beyond the arc.
The Pittsburgh bench outscored Providence’s 20-3, and the Panthers also outscored the Friars 34-28 in the paint and 20-15 off turnovers.