The Bears (4-6), who ended a five-game losing streak against their city rivals, outscored the Friars 9-1 in the final 44.9 seconds and overcame a career-high 37 points by Providence’s LaDontae Henton, who scored 24 straight points in the second half.
After Sean McGonagill cut a seven-point lead to four with a 3-pointer, Providence turned the ball over and Halpern scored with 31.3 left. Vincent Council was then fouled and made 1 of 2 with 20.5 remaining, before Halpern, who finished with 28 points—one shy of his career high—hit another 3 with 7.3 seconds left to give Brown the lead.
Providence (8-4), which scored its last basket with 2:55 left, didn’t get a good look at the final shot, which Council missed before a packed house at the small Pizzitola Sports Center.
While the local rivals play every season, this was the first game on Brown’s campus since 1982.
Down to just eight players because of injuries to Longi Yiljep and Stephen Albrecht, the Bears have been using assistant coaches TJ Sorrentine and Dwayne Pina to scrimmage in practices.
Henton, whose previous career best was 33 points against South Florida on Jan. 29, delivered a personal 10-0 run to take Providence from three points down to seven points ahead. He then answered every basket Brown hit with a 3-pointer, nailing five straight to keep the Friars ahead. His 37 points were the most scored by a Brown visitor and by a Big East player this season.
All told, Henton scored 26 of Providence’s 33 second-half points. He finished 6 for 10 from 3-point range, after coming into the game just 12 for 53 from behind the arc for the season. He was 8 for 10 from the field after halftime.
Kadeem Batts, with 10 points, was the only other player in double figures for the Friars, who have lost two straight.
McGonagill finished with 13 points for Brown, including three 3-pointers down the stretch.
Providence guard Bryce Cotton, coming off scoring 33 points in a loss at Boston College last Saturday, missed the game because of a troublesome right knee.
Council, a third-team All-Big East selection last season and preseason first team pick for 2012-13, returned after suffering a leg injury less than 5 minutes into the first game of the season. He started practicing earlier in the week and started Friday night. He played 38 minutes and was just 1 for 8 from the floor in scoring five points—but he did have nine assists.
The Bears jumped to a 15-7 lead 5:22 into the game before Providence scored 10 straight points to take the lead. Brown came back and led 29-25 with 4:46 left, but the Friars went on a 9-2 run, scoring the last seven points of the half to take a 34-31 lead into the break, going 4 for 7 from 3-point range.
Both teams were cold after halftime as the lead went back and forth and the physical play was turned up. Batts was hit with a technical foul for saying something to Rafael Maia after Maia was fouled going to the basket with 9:30 left.
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