CINCINNATI (AP) — Xavier’s best player is learning how to assert himself during the Musketeers’ best start in seven years.
Trevon Bluiett scored a career-high 22 points, and 12th-ranked Xavier went on a 25-point run during a 90-55 victory over Wright State on Tuesday night to stay unbeaten.
Bluiett also had 11 rebounds in his second straight double-double and his third of the season. Xavier (9-0) pulled ahead by 42 points before resting its starters down the stretch.
"Tre is playing with a lot of confidence," said guard Myles Davis, who had 13 points. "That’s what we need. Tre’s our best player overall. It’s good to see him not just scoring but getting rebounds too. I’m excited for him. We’ll be as good as Trevon is."
The Raiders (3-6) couldn’t keep up in their first game against Xavier since the 1994-95 season. Xavier led by as many as 29 points in the first half and extended the lead in the second half.
"We grew a lot in the second half by not letting up," Davis said. "We’ve taken big leads and let up."
Wright State fell to 6-19 all-time against ranked teams, its last such win coming over Butler on Dec. 8, 2007. The Raiders have dropped their last nine against Top 25 teams.
Michael Karena had a team-high 10 points despite fouling out with 10:02 to go. The Raiders came in shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, but went only 5 of 27.
"They’ve been up close to 30 points in all of their last five games," Wright State coach Billy Donlon said. "What I respected about them: They never changed emotion. From an emotional standpoint, they played like pros, played like adults playing basketball. They miss some shots, they just keep playing."
Xavier didn’t shoot well in the first half, missing 12 of its first 15 shots, but stayed ahead the whole way. The Musketeers went on a 25-point run — their best of the season — that built the lead to 33-6, with the Raiders going 9 minutes, 22 seconds without scoring.
"Through nine games, this team’s defense is better than it’s been in the past," coach Chris Mack said. "We’re a better defensive team than we’ve been in a long time."
That’s not all that went wrong for Wright State. Guard Grant Benzinger picked up his fourth foul with 7:39 left in the first half — in a total of six minutes on the court — and Karena got his fourth with 2:09 left. Both fouled out midway through the second half.
During a timeout with 3:58 left in the opening half, the Xavier crowd chanted: "Beat UC!" The Musketeers host crosstown rival No. 23 Cincinnati on Saturday.
Bluiett had 10 points and eight rebounds in the first half. The sophomore forward was coming off a 21-point, 10-rebound performance in a 95-64 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Xavier went 28 of 34 from the free-throw line. The Musketeers have made more free throws (204) than their opponents have attempted (168).
Wright State: The Raiders’ only win over a Top 12 team came on Dec. 30, 1999, when they beat Michigan State 53-49.
Xavier: The nine-game winning streak is Xavier’s longest since it also won nine in a row at the end of 2010-11 season. The school record is 16 straight wins during the 2002-03 season.
Wright State: The Raiders play at Miami (Ohio) on Sunday.
Xavier: The crosstown rivalry will be played on Xavier’s court for the first time since a brawl there four years ago. Xavier has won the last two games in the rivalry and six of the last eight.