PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Ticker) -- Rick Barnes' return to Providence included some shaky moments and a controversial ending.
Freshman P.J. Tucker scored a disputed basket as time expired in overtime as 16th-ranked Texas pulled out a 79-77 victory over Providence.
With former Providence coach Rick Pitino among the sellout crowd of 12,993 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, Barnes needed Tucker's clutch basket to avoid a tough loss.
After Providence's Donnie McGrath hit an uncontested 3-pointer opposite the Friars' bench with 3.7 seconds left, Tucker took the inbounds pass, dribbled behind his back, blew by Dwight Brewington and scored as time expired.
Tucker's basket was the subject of a lengthy review by the officials, who were not sure if the ball left his hands before the buzzer. They watched replays on television monitors, huddled, then decided the shot was good.
"(There was) no call originally," referee Tim Higgins said. "In our game, (zeros on the clock) doesn't end the game. The game ends with the horn or light.
"The first eight times (we watched the replay), we could not see the light. When it was superimposed with five screens, it was clear that the ball beat the light. We looked at it so many times because we couldn't see the light."
After the ruling, fans voiced their displeasure and appeared to throw objects at Barnes as he headed to the locker room.
"They were going back and forth," Barnes said. "Timmy (Providence coach Tim Welsh) said, 'Let's get it right.' If it's too close to call, let's play five minutes and I would agree to it, but if it is good, we got to count it."
"One referee said it was no good to me," Welsh said. "I went back to our huddle and starting coaching the team. Then there was a four-person negotiation, including Rick Barnes, and the call was changed."
Barnes, who guided Providence to a 108-76 record from 1988-94, watched his team bolt to a 21-point lead in the first half before settling for a 41-33 advantage at the break.
But the Longhorns (8-2), who were playing their first true road game of the season, were unable to pull away in the second half.
Led by Ryan Gomes, who scored 28 points, the Friars (8-2) went on a 12-0 run. Gomes had half of Providence's points during the spurt, capped by a pair of free throws by McGrath that opened a 74-71 lead with 30 seconds left.
Royal Ivey tied it with a 3-pointer 15 seconds later.
The frenzied finish would have been unneccessary if the Longhorns were able to pull away. They led 32-11 and did not allow a basket in the first 13:22 before Gomes and the Friars came to life.