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Cotton, Shepard score 22 each, but Providence Argos fall to No. 12 Arizona Christian

Posted at 9:22 AM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 11:22:47-05

(Editor’s note: University of Providence athletics release)

PHOENIX, Ariz. – After rallying from a second-half double-digit deficit to lead by three at the 7:30 mark, the University of Providence men’s basketball team fell to the No. 12 Arizona Christian Firestorm on Monday afternoon, 98-86.

Brandon Cotton and Jalen Shepard both led the Argos offensively scoring 22 points each, while Austin Starr followed with 18 points. Shepard grabbed six boards, while also tallying five steals and five assists. Jaxen Hashley pulled down 13 rebounds for the Argos, while also scoring 12 points to garner the only double-double of the game.

The Argos and Firestorm battled to an 8-8 tie to open up the contest before two free throws from Shepard gave the Argos a 10-8 lead. The Argos would go on a 9-4 run to lead by seven, 19-12, but the Firestorm tied the game back up at the nine-minute mark, 21-21. Arizona Christian would take the lead and maintain the advantage for the rest of the period, leading by as many as 10 before Austin Starr knocked down a 3-pointer with five seconds on the clock to cut the Argos deficit to seven, 46-39.

The Firestorm opened the second half with five straight points to push their lead back to double digits, 51-39. Over the next five minutes of game time, the Argos slowly chipped away at Arizona Christian’s lead until they tied things up at 59, following a 20-8 run. The two teams would battle to three more ties before the game sat at a 75-75 standstill with eight minutes to go. Austin Starr netted a three to put the Argos up 78-75, but the Firestorm went on a 23-8 run to close out the match, 98-86.

Providence concludes the Cactus Classic Tuesday against Embry-Riddle with the game scheduled for 4 p.m.