West Virginia 77, Providence 65

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Darris Nichols scored a game-high 23 points, including 4-for-4 on 3-pointers in the second half, as West Virginia beat Providence, 77-65 on Saturday night.

Joe Alexander added 19 points and hauled in eight rebounds while Rhode Island native Joe Mazzulla scored 11 points for the Mountaineers (16-6, 5-4 Big East) in their sixth win over the Friars in their last seven meetings.

Randall Hanke led Providence (12-9, 3-6) with 18 points.

The Friars led 36-24 with 6:33 to play in the first half, but the Mountaineers closed the half with a 17-2 run led by Alexander with six points and Mazzulla with four to take a 41-38 halftime lead.

Dwain Williams hit a 3-pointer early in the second half to give the Friars a 43-42 lead, but that was their last lead of the game.

Jeff Xavier, the Friars' leading scorer at nearly 13 points per game, was limited to just five points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Nichols scored 17 points in the second half when the Mountaineers shot 51 percent, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range.

The Friars, who started by making 5-of-8 3-point attempts ended with 7-of-18 overall.