The hostility inside a sold-out Amica Mutal Pavilion was fervent before the start of Saturday’s game between Providence and visiting Georgetown.
Ed Cooley was bombarded with boos as the Georgetown coach exited the tunnel before his first game against the Friars since leaving Providence after 12 seasons to coach the Big East Conference-rival Hoyas last March.
By the final buzzer, however, the Friar faithful’s wrath had eased as Providence downed Cooley and the Hoyas 84-76.
Devin Carter led all scorers with 29 points for the Friars (14-6, 5-4 Big East), including an emphatic breakaway windmill slam in the final minute that punctuated Providence’s win and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
Josh Oduro added 22 points and six rebounds for the Friars, while Davonte Gaines tallied 14 points and seven boards.
Providence outscored Georgetown 46-32 in the paint and 15-5 in transition.
Jayden Epps led the Hoyas (8-12, 1-8) with 26 points and Ismael Massoud paired 16 points with seven rebounds.
The Friars repeatedly feasted on easy looks in the paint to build a 56-44 cushion with 12:35 left in the second half.
But Providence suddenly sputtered, making one field goal and committing six turnovers over the next six minutes as its once-comfortable lead vanished.
Massoud and Jay Heath each drilled a 3-pointer amid the Hoyas’ 14-2 run that Rowan Brumbaugh capped with a layup to tie the game at 58 with 6:53 to play.
Georgetown slid ahead 69-66 on Epps’ triple and led by one before Carter responded with seven points in 12 seconds to swing the Friars in front for good.
After drilling a three from well beyond the left wing to put Providence up 71-69, Carter collected a steal and finished on the other end while being fouled by Heath, who was assessed a flagrant 1.
Carter hit both free throws, as did Oduro 18 seconds later to close the Friars’ 11-0 run that left them ahead 77-69 with 1:23 to play.
The Hoyas got no closer than 80-76 as Carter tacked on four more points to seal Providence’s third straight win.
The Friars shot 59.1 percent in the first half to lead 37-33 at the break. Oduro led all first-half scorers with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting.