- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Ryan Arcidiacono felt he had a great chance to win it at the end of the first overtime. He knew what he was doing when he got another chance.

Arcidiacono had a three-point play with 3.6 seconds left in the second overtime to lift No. 9 Villanova to an 82-79 win over Providence on Tuesday night.

“We had the ball and called timeout with 16 seconds left,” he said. “Coach wanted me to run a play with about 8 (seconds). I missed the first two and got to the lane in the first OT, and thought I could again.”

Arcidiacono led the Wildcats (23-3, 11-2 Big East) with 21 points. JayVaughn Pinkston had 20 and James Bell 17. Villanova moved into a tie for first atop the Big East with Creighton.

“Great college basketball game, great atmosphere, great fans and Providence played great, so did we,” Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. “I was just proud to be a part of it - proud of our guys.”

Wright still wasn’t over a 100-81 loss at Creighton on Sunday, but was pleased how his team responded.

“I’m not great at resiliency, this stuff eats at me, but these guys are,” he said. “Talking to our staff I asked, ‘How are they?’ They said, ‘They’re great, man. They’re ready to go.’”

Bryce Cotton led the Friars (17-10, 7-7) with 22 points despite shooting just 6 of 20. Kadeem Batts finished with 21 and 11 rebounds, but fouled out on Arcidiacono’s game-winning basket. Josh Fortune added 16 points and Tyler Harris 15.

“It was a game that whoever had the ball last was probably going to win,” Providence coach Ed Cooley said.

After missing shots at the end of regulation and OT, Arcidiacono drove to the basket, banking in a shot as he was fouled.

It’s something the guard said they practice, going to the basket hard and not getting fouls called.

“If anyone is there, we don’t get any calls and we could get hacked,” he said. “I think we practice for the road environment and everything going against us. We responded. We like each other and we were ready to go. No one panicked after regulation and the first overtime. We stuck together and knew if we do what we do, we’d come out with the win.”

LaDontae Henton’s 3 from the left corner bounced off the front of the rim as the horn sounded, allowing Villanova to escape with the win.

Pinkston had a pair of post-up turnarounds in the second overtime, the second gave the Wildcats a 79-76 edge with 46 seconds left, but Cotton made a 3-pointer with 24.1 seconds left.

“They are a great team with so many different weapons,” Cooley said. “You try and take away the three, but they have Pinkston, who is a tough matchup for everybody.”

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