Both teams found themselves in the NIT after finishing tied for seventh in their conferences. Providence was bounced from
the Big East tournament by Louisville in the quarterfinals, while Miami dropped its ACC tournament opener to Virginia Tech.
Efejuku made four free throws in the first 31 seconds of the second half, pulling the Friars within a possession at 35-32.
But McClinton responded quickly with a fast-break layup, and Providence never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Miami, which struggled at times during the first half against Providence's pressure, looked much more comfortable bringing
the ball up the court early in the second half.
Back-to-back 3s by
made it 60-55 with 9:27 to play, but both offenses sputtered. Neither team managed to score for nearly three minutes until
sunk two free throws with 6:52 to play.
Providence didn't manage another basket until just 1:39 remained. By that point, McClinton had scored back-to-back threes
to put Miami up 70-60.