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No. 18 UConn uses big second half to down No. 20 Providence

STORRS, Conn. — Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points and No. 18 UConn beat No. 20 Providence 87-69 on Wednesday night to split the regular-season series between the New England rivals.

Adama Sanogo and Alex Karaban each added 16 points for the Huskies (21-7, 10-7 Big East), who won for the fifth time in their last six games. Tristen Newton had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Bryce Hopkins scored 16 points and Jared Bynum had 14 for the Friars (20-8, 12-5), who fell two games behind Marquette in the race for the Big East’s regular-season title.

UConn led by just five at halftime, but outscored Providence 50-37 in the second half.

UConn scored the final five points of the first half and Hawkins had the first five points of the second to turn a tie game into a 10-point lead at 42-32.

Providence responded a short time later with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two points.

But the Huskies held the Friars without a basket for more than five minutes and built the lead to 17 with a 14-0 run.

The Huskies dominated the paint, outscoring the Friars 42-24 down low and outrebounding Providence 40-20.

This was the first time in the 77-game history of the rivalry that both teams were ranked when they faced each other.

UConn is now 46-31 all-time against Friars, but had lost three of the last four meetings, including 73-61 on Jan. 4.

NO. 1 HOUSTON 89, TUNALE 59: J’Wan Roberts had a career-high 26 points and seven rebounds, Marcus Sasser scored 22 points and Houston clinched at least a share of the American Athletic Conference regular season championship with a home victory over Tulane (17-8, 10-4).

Houston (26-2, 14-1) has won eight straight games and the regular season title is the fourth in the past five seasons.

Roberts has scored at least 20 points in consecutive games, and Sasser, who also had five rebounds and six assists, has scored at least 20 points in four straight and nine overall this season.

NO. 2 ALABAMA 78, SOUTH CAROLINA 76 (OT): Embattled Brandon Miller scored a career-high 41 points, including the go-ahead basket with 0.9 seconds left in overtime, as Alabama outlasted South Carolina in Columbia.

Miller’s performance came a day after the 6-foot-9 freshman standout was linked to a fatal shooting near campus last month. However, hours before tipoff, Alabama said Miller was “not a suspect” and would remain an “active member” for the Crimson Tide (24-4, 14-1 Southeastern Conference).

Miller shook off some early struggles to lead Alabama, which kept its one-game lead over No. 25 Texas A&M in the race for the SEC regular-season championship.

Boston College forward Quinten Post celebrates with fans after Wednesday's upset victory over Virginia in Boston.

Boston College forward Quinten Post celebrates with fans after Wednesday’s upset victory over Virginia in Boston.

BOSTON COLLEGE 63, NO. 6 VIRGINIA 48: Makai Ashton-Langford scored 16 points, Jaeden Zackery had all 12 of his points in the second half and Boston College held visiting Virginia to a season-low 32% from the field to beat the Cavaliers.

The Eagles have beaten three ranked teams this season. With BC (14-15, 8-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) only adding to its lead in the final minutes, the raucous Conte Forum crowd gathered along the perimeter of the court, ready to rush it at the final buzzer.

Jayden Gardner scored 16 points for Virginia (21-5, 13-4), which fell into a second-place tie with Pittsburgh in the ACC standings, one-half game behind Miami. The Cavaliers, who had been as high as No. 2 in the AP Top 25, had won four in a row and 11 of their previous 12 games.

UConn's Tristen Newton shoots against Providence during the first half of Wednesday's game in Storrs, Conn.

UConn’s Tristen Newton shoots against Providence during the first half of Wednesday’s game in Storrs, Conn.

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