LaDontae Henton scored 15 and grabbed eight rebounds, and Josh Fortune added 10 points for the Friars (4-2).
Derek Needham paced the Stags (3-3) with 18 points. Fairfield shot just 35.2 percent (19 of 54) and committed 16 turnovers.
Cotton, who entered the game as the Big East’s leading scorer with 24.5 points per game, went 6 of 13 from the floor, hitting his only two 3s of the game in the key run.
Vincent Council, Providence’s leading scorer from last season at 15.9 points per game, missed his fifth straight contest. He suffered a leg injury 5 minutes into the season opener.
The Friars, who beat UNC Ashville in the third round of the Puerto Rico Tip-off tournament Sunday, led by eight at halftime.
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