Cotton carries Providence past Fairfield 66-47

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Bryce Cotton scored eight of his 21 points during a game-breaking 17-0 run that carried Providence to a 66-47 win over Fairfield on Friday night.

LaDontae Henton scored 15 and grabbed eight rebounds, and Josh Fortune added 10 points and six boards for the Friars (4-2).

Derek Needham paced the Stags (3-3) with 18 points. Fairfield shot just 35.2 percent (19 of 54) and committed 16 turnovers.

Cotton, who entered the game as the Big East's leading scorer with 24.5 points per game, went 6 of 13 from the floor, hitting his only two 3s of the game in the key run.

Vincent Council, Providence's leading scorer from last season at 15.9 points per game, missed his fifth straight contest. He suffered a leg injury 5 minutes into the season opener.

The Friars, who beat UNC Ashville in the third round of the Puerto Rico Tip-off tournament Sunday, led by eight at halftime.

After a basket by Fairfield's Keith Matthews opened the second-half scoring, Providence scored its 17 straight points over the next 5:37. Cotton collected eight points, nailing a pair of 3s in the spree.

Matthews' two free throws ended the 7-minute scoreless drought. Fairfield went 0 for 9 from the field during the stretch.

The Stags never got hot and were unable to challenge at all down the stretch.

Providence pushed its lead to 51-29 on Brice Kofane's breakaway dunk with 6:29 to play.

Friars' second-year coach Ed Cooley spent five seasons at Fairfield before coming to Providence.

The Stags, who played their sixth of eight games away from home to open the season, will play another Big East team in their next game, traveling to DePaul on Tuesday.

In a first half filled with a high percentage of missed shots by both teams and sloppy ball handling -- mostly by Fairfield early -- the Friars jumped to a 15-5 lead nearly 8 minutes into the game. Fairfield missed nine of its initial 11 shots before using a 7-0 run late in the half to close the gap to 19-17.

Providence then scored the final six points of the half, grabbing a 25-17 edge when Cotton grabbed the rebound of an airball and quickly spun under the basket for a reverse layup as the horn sounded.

Neither team shot better than 37 percent in the first half.