CINCINNATI (AP) -- Yancy Gates had 16 points and nine rebounds, giving Cincinnati a consistent inside scoring threat on Wednesday night, and the Bearcats built a 24-point lead before holding on for an 81-66 victory over Providence.
Cincinnati (18-8, 8-5 Big East) repeatedly drove through the Friars' half-court defense for layups, with its power forward leading the way. He had a dunk for the Bearcats' first basket, part of an opening 13-6 run.
Sean Kilpatrick had 22 points for Cincinnati, which led by as many as 24 in the second half. The Bearcats sweated out a Providence surge that cut it to 66-59 with 4:22 to go.
Providence (13-14, 2-12) has lost four in a row and eight of its last nine, dropping the Friars into last place in the Big East.
Vincent Council led the Friars with 29 points, 21 of them in the second half. LaDontae Henton added 24.