Vander Blue scored 13 points and played suffocating defense on the Big East’s leading scorer to lead Marquette to an 81-71 victory over Providence Saturday in Milwaukee in a game delayed several times because of a dive-bombing bat.
Junior Cadougan led Marquette (14-4, 5-1) with 15 points, and Trent Lockett and Davante Gardner added 13 each as part of a balanced attack. Bryce Cotton, who came in averaging 21.9 points per game, led Providence (10-10, 2-6) with 19 hard-earned points. He attempted just nine shots and made five.
‘‘Zero, zero bright spots, not one,’’ Providence coach Ed Cooley said. ‘‘There wasn’t one bright spot in the game, other than Batman and Robin around the building.’’
The bat first appeared with about 11 minutes left, as it began flying near the court and circling over the crowd. At several points, it swooped near the court, sending referees and players scrambling — while the original ‘‘Batman’’ theme played on the loudspeaker. The game resumed following an initial four-minute delay, but play was stopped again seconds later as the bat nearly flew into the side of Providence sophomore Sidiki Johnson’s head, sending him to the court.
‘‘Crazy, it was crazy,’’ said Cadougan. “Everybody was scared the bat was going to bite them. We were all scared, even the refs were scared. The commentator had a towel over his head.’’
The bat appeared several more times before arena officials turned off the lights with 7:36 left to try and ‘‘get rid of the bat,’’ public address announcer Bob Brainerd told the crowd. The lights stayed out for several minutes, and hundreds in the crowd waved their lit mobile phones in air, like a concert, as Whitney Houston’s ‘‘I Will Always Love You’’ played over the sound system. The bat did not return.
BU 81, UMBC 75 — Dom Morris scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures as the Terriers defeated visiting Maryland-Baltimore County for their third straight win.
A 3-pointer by Maurice Watson Jr. started a 7-0 run that gave BU (11-10, 5-3 America East) a 71-63 lead with 2:04 remaining. The Retrievers (4-16, 2-5) got to within 75-71 on Ryan Cook’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, but two free throws by Watson four seconds later sealed the win.
D.J. Irving scored 13 points, John Papale and Nathan Dieudonne had 11 each, and Watson and Malik Thomas scored 10 each for the Terriers, who shot 51.7 percent (31 of 60).
Chase Plummer had 19 points and 11 rebounds for UMBC.
Bucknell 65, Holy Cross 58 — In Worcester, Joe Willman and Bryson Johnson each scored 16 points to lead the Bison (17-4, 4-1 Patriot) past the Crusaders (10-10, 2-3). Dave Dudzinski scored 26 points and Justin Burrell added 11 points for Holy Cross.
Vermont 50, Albany 43 — Clancy Rugg posted his third career double-double, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the Catamounts (13-7, 6-2 America East) held off the host Great Danes (16-6, 5-3). Sandro Carissimo and Ethan O’Day each added 13 points for Vermont, which won for the fourth time in five games. Mike Black led Albany with 13 points.
Long Island 79, Bryant 78 — Jamal Olasewere scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half to boost the visiting Blackbirds (10-10, 5-3 Northeast) past the Bulldogs (13-6, 6-2). Bryant got 25-points from Dyami Starks, who hit six 3-pointers.
Stony Brook 79, Maine 69 — Tommy Benton posted a triple-double, and Eric McAlister scored 22 points to lead the host Seawolves (15-5, 6-1 America East) over the Black Bears (8-12, 3-4). Zarko Valjarevic scored 21 points for Maine, and Justin Edwards added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
New Hampshire 63, Binghamton 45 — Ferg Myrick posted his third double-double of the season and Chris Matagrano his first as the visiting Wildcats (5-14, 1-6) defeated the Bearcats (3-17, 1-6) for their first America East win.
Fordham 66, Rhode Island 63 — Branden Frazier hit 7 of 8 free throws over the final 3:38 to lift Fordham (6-12, 1-4 Atlantic 10) over visiting Rhode Island (6-14, 2-3), which was led by Mike Powell’s 14 points.
Yale 76, Brown 64 — Justin Sears scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Austin Morgan added 16 points to lead the host Bulldogs (7-12, 1-1 Ivy League) past the Bears (7-9, 1-1) in overtime. Cedric Kuakumensah and Matt Sullivan each scored 13 points for Brown.
Central Conn. 72, St. Francis (N.Y.) 70 — Kyle Vinales led all scorers with 19 points, and Adonis Burbage finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds as the host Blue Devils (8-11, 4-4 Northeast) edged the Terriers (8-11, 4-4).
Quinnipiac 58, Fairleigh Dickinson 56 — Ike Azotam had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Jamee Jackson had a steal and two blocked shots in the final minute to get the host Bobcats (8-12, 4-4 Northeast) past the Knights (7-14, 2-6).Continued...