GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence men’s basketball team’s last two games has come down to one possession.
After Friday night, you can make it three straight games.
The Argos came away with a 78-77 win over No. 2 Carroll College in a Frontier Conference game after hitting 3 of 4 free throws in the final five seconds.
After Brandon Cotton was fouled on a layup, Saints senior Match Burnham was called for a technical foul.
“It’s really testing my heart after my heart attack,” Providence coach Steve Keller said. “My heart must be good after going through that.”
Carroll entered the McLaughlin Center winning six straight games, but were tested by the Argos from the opening tipoff.
Providence jumped out to a 8-6 lead but senior Matt Wyman gave the Saints the lead on a 3-pointer.
Carroll increased its lead up to 21-14 on a basket from Jovan Slijvancanin and increased it to as many as 11 points on a 3-pointer by Ife Kalejaiye.
Just seconds before halftime Wyman came up limping and was taken out with a left knee injury.
He finished with 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting and said he the trainers don’t really know but he is hopeful for a speedy recovery.
“I didn’t hear a pop or anything so I hope it’s just a bit of bruising,” Wyman said. “I don’t know. We will see.”
Providence started to chip away at its deficit in the second half as transfer Brandon Cotton made a layup in the paint, followed by a basket by Jalen Shepard.
Carroll brought its lead back to to double digits with 10 minutes remaining in the game, but with Wyman on the bench in crutches and senior Match Burnham sitting in foul trouble, the Argos made a run.
Providence climbed as close as two points when Shepard made a shot with 32 seconds left, setting up the final possession.
Shepard finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while D’Shea Williams led the Argos with 16 points.
Providence had one final possession to tie the game when Cotton drove to the basket and was fouled. The technical was called and the Argos ended up with four free throws.
Carroll’s Shamrock Campbell launched a 3-pointer at the end of regulation but was too strong as Providence and its fans celebrated.
“It was a tough one to swallow,” Carroll coach Kurt Paulson said. “We had our chances to win there and give Providence credit. They knocked down their shots and hit their free throws.”