By JIM VERTUNO , AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Alpha Diallo scored 20 points and Providence got a big out-of-conference win with a tough 71-65 victory over Texas on Friday night.
Isaiah Jackson added 12 points for the Friars (10-3), who shot 50 percent in the first half and used a solid defensive effort in holding Texas to just 38 percent for the game.
Providence never trailed in their final game before the start of Big East play. Texas cut the Friars’ lead to 64-62 on a tough layup from Elijah Mitrou-Long that just beat the shot clock with 2 minutes left. But Texas’ next two possessions saw the Longhorns miss open 3-pointers.
The Longhorns (7-4) made a final bid when Matt Coleman III made a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left and nearly forced a Friars turnover. Diallo made four consecutive free throws to put the game away.
Jaxson Hayes and Coleman each scored 13 points for the Longhorns, who were just 13 of 23 shooting free throws.
Providence: The Friars had to slug out a win in a game they were controlling throughout the first half when they led by as much as 13. Second-half fouls and struggles handling Texas’ full-court pressure defense kept the Longhorns in the game.
Texas: The Longhorns had snapped a three-game losing skid when they found their shooting touch from long range. It disappeared again against the Friars. After shooting 49 percent on 3-pointers the previous two games, the Longhorns were just 6 of 24 in the loss, with a 3-of-14 effort in the second half. It didn’t help that Texas was without leading scorer Kerwin Roach II, who missed the game with a stomach illness.
Providence: The Friars host Creighton in their Big East opener on Jan. 31.
Texas: The Longhorns host UT-Arlington on Dec. 28 in their final game before the Big 12 schedule starts.
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