Bryant’s 32-point performance leads West Virginia past Providence to end losing streak
Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2012 02:02
Truck Bryant has been in a slump for the last month.
He finally snapped out of it and carried the West Virginia men's basketball team to an 87-84 overtime win at Providence Sunday.
The senior finished with 32 points on 11-of-22 from the field.
Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left in overtime to give the Mountaineers the edge.
"Truck was dreadful in the first half shooting the ball," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "In the past, he would've remained that way. He came out and with a lot of confidence and started making some shots for us."
Providence had a chance to tie up the game, but junior Vincent Council's shot hit off the front of the rim.
West Virginia had an 82-80 lead in overtime, until LaDontae Henton hit a 3-pointer to give the Friars a 83-82 lead.
Junior Deniz Kilicli responded with a layup to give the Mountaineers back the lead.
Kilicli finished with 22 points and six rebounds.
Sophomore Gerard Coleman, who finished with a career-high 30 points, went just 1-for-2 from the line to tie the game at 84.
West Virginia senior Kevin Jones scored 20 points and collected five rebounds. It's his ninth consecutive game recording a double-double.
"We didn't play particularly well and were able to win," Huggins said. "That was probably the worst game K.J. has had since Mississippi State, and somehow we were able to figure out a way to win."
Providence jumped out to a big first-half lead behind 63 percent shooting.
The Friars used a 17-4 run to pull out to a 26-13 lead. Providence increased its lead to 15 -32-17 at the 7:43 mark of the first half.
But then West Virginia mounted its comeback.
The Mountaineers went on a 16-5 run to pull within 37-33, and then a Bryant 3-point shot decreased the Providence lead to just 39-36.
Providence hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to take a 42-36 at halftime.
Providence started the second half, though, the way it started the game increasing its lead to 10 at the 17:36 mark. (9-3 run)
West Virginia was able to stay close (the Friars never had a lead of more than 7), but it struggled to find a way to get over the hump.
The Mountaineers pulled within 70-65 at the 5:05 mark of the second half and then pulled within three points after a Bryant steal on the following possession.
West Virginia then pulled within one at the 3:31 mark with a Kilicli tip shot.
Kilicli had a chance to tie the game at 71 with a pair of free throws, but he made just one to cut the deficit to a point with 2:31 to play.
West Virginia tied up the game at the 1:34 mark for the first time since early in the first half with a layup from Kilicli.
Providence responded, though, with a Coleman layup with just more than a minute remaining to take a 74-72 lead.
Freshman Gary Browne came off the bench to play 36 minutes and lead the Mountaineers with nine rebounds.
West Virginia outrebounded providence 32-31.
"This hopefully is a game that will get us back on track and will get us where we need to go," Huggins said.