Creighton rides hot second half start to upset third-seed Providence and reach Big East semis
Justin Patton and Marcus Foster helped Creighton reach the Big East semis with huge win over Providence. AP

THE Creighton Bluejays rode a hot start in the second half and a strong finish to complete an upset over third-seed Providence Friars, 70-58, to reach the Big East semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

Davion Mintz and Justin Patton led a 13-2 second half start to take a 44-32 lead with 12:14 to go. The Bluejays led by as much as 10 before the Friars started chipping at the lead and got within 56-50 at the 5:49 mark.

But Khyri Thomas made some clutch free throws and got a crucial steal and assist to lead a late breakaway as Creighton unleashed a 14-5 run down the stretch.

Thomas led the way for the Bluejays with 19 points and six rebounds. Marcus Foster added 15 markers, while Cole Huff chipped in 10.

Filipino cager Kobe Paras watched from the sidelines as the Bluejays exacted payback on the Friars to advance in the Big East tournament.

Kyron Cartwright had 15 points to lead Providence, while Emmit Holt and Alpha Diallo scored 14 and 10 markers, respectively.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph