Luwane Pipkins scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half and host Providence continued its late-season resurgence with an 84-72 Big East Conference victory Saturday over No. 19 Marquette.
David Duke scored 15 points and A.J. Reeves added 11 for the Friars (16-12, 9-6), who have won three in a row and five of their last seven contests. Four of those five victories have come against ranked teams.
Markus Howard overcame a slow start to score 38 points for the Golden Eagles (17-9, 7-7), who are now on a season-long three-game losing streak. Howard, who entered second in the nation with 26.7 points per game, missed 10 of his first 13 shots from the field.
Providence has managed to stay just behind the Big East leaders despite ending nonconference play with a 7-6 record. The Friars lost five of eight games before playing in their conference opener Dec. 31.
Pipkins was 7 of 10 from the field in the first half as the Friars led by as many as 17 points. They took a 43-29 advantage in to the break after shooting 54.8 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.
Marquette pulled to within nine points at 52-43 with 11:21 remaining, but a quick 6-0 run from Providence put the Friars back in comfortable control again. Providence took its largest lead at 21 points (71-50) with 5:13 remaining.
Alpha Diallo scored 10 points for Providence after not making his first field goal until 15:19 remained in the game. He averaged 20.0 points over his previous five games. Maliek White also had 10 points for Providence.
Howard, who played without a facemask for a broken nose for the first time in five games, finished 10 of 25 from the field. Greg Elliott had 10 points as the Golden Eagles shot 40.8 percent from the field after shooting 37.5 percent in the first half.
Providence, which entered the game as the only unranked team in the top six of the Big East standings, held a 38-26 advantage on points in the paint, as well as a 16-4 assists advantage.
--Field Level Media
|Markus Howard 38||Scoring||Luwane Pipkins 24|
|Sacar Anim 2||Assists||David Duke 4|
|Theo John 6||Rebounds||Nate Watson 5|
|Markus Howard 15||Free Throws Made||Alpha Diallo 8|
|Markus Howard 3||Steals||Luwane Pipkins 4|
|Theo John 1||Blocks||Alpha Diallo 2|