Providence Edges Cincinnati in Overtime, 81-79

March 2, 2008

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CINCINNATI (AP) - The Cincinnati Bearcats rallied from a 10-point deficit in regulation behind a 19-point game from senior forward John Williamson, but fell to Providence College, 81-79 in overtime this afternoon at Fifth Third Arena.

Marshon Brooks made a leaning bank shot with two seconds left in regulation, tying it at 73. In overtime, he had a tip-in, two free throws and the decisive block, swatting away John Williamson's driving shot from behind with about four seconds to go.

Cincinnati (13-15, 8-8) clinched a berth in the Big East tournament earlier in the week, a breakthrough for the rebuilding program.

Williamson had 19 points for Cincinnati, and freshman guard Larry Davis added a career-high 16.

The Friars opened the game with a 12-2 run set up by their defense. Cincinnati was only 1-for-8 with a pair of turnovers during the spurt.

During a 73-67 loss at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, the Bearcats were reduced to a two-man offense: Williamson had 27 points and Deonta Vaughn added 24. With the Friars guarding those two closely, Davis got open shots and kept Cincinnati close.

The freshman guard scored 12 in the first half--three shy of his career high--and turned it into a back-and-forth game.

Providence made four of its first five shots in the second half, stretching the lead to 48-38. That is when Williamson started asserting himself inside, scoring three consecutive baskets while the Bearcats got the lead down to two.

Marcus Sikes' putback gave Cincinnati the lead, 73-71, with 21 seconds left in regulation, but Brooks banked in the leaning jumper that sent it to overtime.