Providence 65, Butler 56: Kadeem Batts recorded 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as the Friars held off the visiting Bulldogs for their fourth consecutive victory.Bryce Cotton scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half and had six assists for Providence (14-5, 4-2 Big East), which had a 37-22 advantage on the boards. LaDontae Henton and Tyler Harris added 12 points each for the Friars, who won their last three games in a six-day period.Kellen Dunham led the way with 17 points and six rebounds for Butler (11-8, 1-6), which has dropped six of its last seven contests. Khyle Marshall contributed 15 points for the Bulldogs, who shot 36 percent in the first half.Dunham scored 14 in the first half, including a 3-pointer midway through for a six-point edge. Harris countered with 10 points in the opening 20 minutes - five during a 9-0 run that gave the Friars the lead - and Providence settled for a 29-26 advantage at intermission after going up by seven.The Friars pushed the lead to eight after a Harris basket before Butler battled back as close as two. Batts started the decisive 13-3 run with a short shot in the lane while Josh Fortune, Henton and Cotton each drained a 3-pointer as the Friars took a 61-49 lead and held off a late surge.GAME NOTEBOOK: Providence, which came in leading the nation in free-throw shooting at 79.6 percent, made 14-of-16 free throws and improved to 10-1 at home. … Butler freshman F Andrew Chrabascz, who is from Portsmouth, R.I., came off the bench to score eight points in the second half. … It was the first meeting between the programs.