Providence came back from a six-point deficit with 44 seconds remaining to force overtime, then defeated visiting Silver Creek 59-58 Tuesday night. Juston Betz led all scorers with 26 points for the Pioneers (10-4), while Ryan Baker led the Dragons (11-3) with 19.
Griffin Libs scored on a putback with 4.4 seconds left to force the overtime out of a timeout.
“We were trying to get Juston coming off of a double screen, but they collapsed on him,” Providence head coach Andrew Grantz said. “He attacked and put the pressure on the defense. He took the shot inside the lane, but because their guys were out of position on the collapse, we were able to get the offensive rebound. Sometimes you just have to have players make plays, and that’s what they did.”
Silver Creek, which has now lost three straight after an 11-0 start, held Providence scoreless the first four minutes of the game, but were only able to score four themselves. The Dragons led 15-13 after the first period, with Baker scoring seven of their 15 points.
The Pioneers, who had scored the last four points of the first period, scored the next four on two buckets by Betz to lead 17-15. After they took a 19-16 lead, though, they went cold as the visitors went on a 10-0 run that extended into the second half.
When Cameron Stephens converted a 3-point play, the Dragons led 26-19, and all pistons were firing.
But then the Pioneers came alive, scoring 13 of the game’s next 18 points to take their first lead of the game at 32-31 with 3:02 remaining in the third period. They pushed the advantage to four at 39-35 by the end of the period.
Again, momentum swung to the other side, as Silver Creek scored 17 of the next 24 points to go ahead 52-46 with 44.3 seconds left.
Betz banked in a basket to cut the deficit to four with 36 seconds left, then Creek tried to throw over the press and got burnt. Providence stole the pass and seconds later Betz hit a three to cut the lead to one with 32 ticks remaining.
Christian Reed hit one free throw, setting up the final play of regulation for Providence.
In overtime, the Pioneers scored the first four points as Betz hit a jumper, then scored on a backdoor layup. The teams traded free throws and with 15.9 seconds left and Reed hit a three to cut the deficit to one. The Dragons got the ball back and got an open jumper by Baker, but it bounced off the rim and the celebration was on for the home fans in attendance.
“They made some big shots when they needed to, and we made some big shots when we needed to,” Grantz said. “That was just one of those games that felt like a heavyweight match.”
Reed scored 17 for the Dragons, as he and Baker were the only scorers in double figures. Libs had 12 for the Pioneers.
Silver Creek (11-3): Ryan Baker 19, Christian Reed 17, Zach Densford 9, Cameron Stephens 7, Noah Eckert 5, Zane Gross 1.
Providence (10-4): Juston Betz 26, Griffin Libs 12, Alex Judd 9, Sean Morris 8, Eli Coker 2, Max Leist 2.
3-pointers: Silver Creek 5 (Baker 3, Reed, Eckert); Providence 4 (Betz 3, Libs).