Ryan Kalkbrenner had 22 points and 12 rebounds to help Creighton beat No. 23 Providence 69-60 after nearly blowing an 18-point lead in the second half on Saturday.
Creighton (11-4, 2-2 Big East) led 48-30 before the Friars used a 25-8 run to get within 56-55 on Devin Carter’s 3-pointer.
Trey Alexander then hit a 3-pointer to start a 6-0 burst by Creighton over the next two minutes to give the team some breathing room.
Carter led all players with 25 points and added 10 rebounds.
Creighton’s defensive intensity in the final five minutes of the first half began to take its toll on the Friars. After trailing 29-28 with 5:54 to go before halftime, Providence was outscored 19-2 to end the half and start the second half.
Creighton, which fell out of the poll this week after losses to Villanova and Marquette, let an 18-point second-half lead get reduced to one point before hanging on to end its losing streak.
Providence entered the week ranked No. 23 but likely will drop out after setbacks to Seton Hall and the Bluejays.
Creighton visits DePaul on Tuesday.
Providence heads to New York to play St. John’s on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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