The chance was certainly there, like it has been so often this year, and then it was gone, another setback in a season that has begun to slip away from them over the past few weeks.

The Butler basketball team lost this one not in the closing minutes or in overtime – as is their custom this season – but in a pivotal second-half stretch that dug them a deficit they couldn't quite climb out of Tuesday night.

Through the game-turning run, Providence shared the wealth. What was a two-point game suddenly was out of reach.

First it was a Josh Fortune 3-pointer from the baseline. Then a LaDontae Henton 3-pointer on the next possession. Then a Bryce Cotton dagger from the top of the key as the shot clock expired. Then, a moment later, and again as the shot clock dripped away, Kadeem Batts sank a jumper from the free throw line.

Back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Eleven points. Ballgame.

"We couldn't recover," Butler head coach Brandon Miller said.

Just like that, the Bulldogs were sunk.

The host Friars rode that critical second-half surge to a 65-56 victory Tuesday night at Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence, giving them four straight wins in league play. Butler, meanwhile, is left with its sixth loss in seven Big East games.

The Bulldogs (11-8, 1-6) trailed by just a bucket before Providence's 11-2 run midway through the second half. After four straight possessions, they went from having a chance to win to watching as another game drifted away. The roots of the run were a slew of defensive gaffes the Bulldogs could not afford to make.

Not on the road.

Not in a game when only two Butler players reached double digits in scoring.

Not when the Bulldogs got outrebounded 37-22 and allowed the Friars 13 offensive boards.

"When you go on the road, the bottom line is you have to defend and you have to rebound," Miller said. "And we didn't rebound on a level to win tonight."

Not on this night, and for the most part, not on this season. To date, Butler has been outrebounded in five of seven Big East contests.

Following the Friars' run after the Under-8 timeout, the Bulldogs cut it to as little as 61-56 with less than a minute remaining, but Khyle Marshall slipped with the basketball near midcourt as Butler tried to chip away. That essentially sealed it.

Marshall finished with 15 points, while Kellen Dunham, who played all 40 minutes, led Butler with 17 points.

Freshman Andrew Chrabascz, playing his first college game in his home state of Rhode Island, scored six straight points midway through the second half to help Butler claw back in the game. He finished with eight in another solid performance from the rookie in Big East play.

Just went you thought Butler might be able to mount some momentum after sputtering from the start of league play, the Bulldogs fell victim to old habits. Turnovers. Rebounds. Inconsistent and costly defensive lapses late in the game.

"I do think that we executed offensively at the level in the second half for us to win a normal game," Miller said before returning to what doomed his team. "Our execution and our offense wasn't the issue tonight. We shot the ball well enough to win … the story is we couldn't rebound the ball."