Providence (13-11, 2-9), which broke a four-game losing streak by beating Rutgers Wednesday, fell back into the Big East cellar with its ninth loss in the last 11 games.
How close was this to becoming a disaster of St. John's proportions? Very. Providence, just an average shooting team and the one in the Big East that takes the fewest 3-pointers, made a staggering 14 of its first 16 shots, four 3s in a row to start the game, and as the first half approached the seven-minute mark, WVU found itself in a 15-point hole, 32-17.
That was enough of a lead that the rest of the afternoon became West Virginia trying to claw back. Behind Bryant's 32 points, Kilicli's career-high 22 and Kevin Jones' 20, they finally did it at the end of regulation, knotting it at 76 on Bryant's drive to the basket with four seconds left.
As he would do again at the end of overtime, Providence's Vincent Council missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end regulation.
The overtime was all Kilicli until Bryant's game-winner. He opened the extra period with a hook shot to give WVU its first lead since 7-6, put WVU up 84-83 with another hook at the 90-second mark, and then stuffed a Gerard Coleman drive to the basket on the next possession.
Coleman, who had a career-high 30 points, finally made a free throw with 10.9 seconds to play to tie the game at 84 and set up Bryant's winner with 3.3 seconds to play.
After that scorching shooting start, Providence settled back to normal. The Friars made 14 of their first 16 shots, but then 14 of their final 39. Among Coleman's 30 points was a 12-for-16 showing at the foul line. LaDontae Henton, Council and Bryce Cotton combined for 48 points.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1