Xavier edges Butler 79-68
CINNCINNATI, Ohio (AP) — Dee Davis scored all 12 of his points in the second half as the Xavier Musketeers came from behind to edge the Butler Bulldogs, 79-68, in a Big East game on Saturday.
Semaj Christon led all scorers with 20 points for Xavier, while Matt Stainbrook finished with 17 points and Justin Martin also reach double figures with 13 as the Musketeers (12-3, 2-0 Big East) extended their winning streak to seven games and improved to 10-0 at home before a capacity crowd of 10,250.
Xavier’s only losses were at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
Khyle Marshall led three Bulldogs in double figures with 14 points. Kellen Dunham scored 11 points and Elijah Brown added 10 for Butler (10-4, 0-2), which has lost two straight games after a five-game winning streak. Both losses have been in the Big East. The Bulldogs lost, 73-70, to No. 11 Villanova on New Year’s Eve.
Both teams are in their first season in the Big East.
The Bulldogs committed 15 turnovers, helping Xavier build a 14-4 advantage in points off of turnovers.
After 11 ties and five lead changes, the Musketeers took the lead for good, 66-64, on a Dee Davis layup with 5:56 to play in the game. Xavier pulled away from there and widened the final margin with some clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds.
After Erik Fromm connected on a jump hook to give Butler its largest lead, 44-37, 14 seconds into the second half, Davis scored five points during 9-0 Xavier run that left the Musketeers leading, 46-44, with 17:37 left in the half.
The Bulldogs made seven of their first eight shots from the field and shot 60.9 percent (14-of-23) from the field while building a 42-37 halftime lead. Marshall scored 11 points to lead Butler. Christon, who was averaging 14.4 points per game, scored 16 before halftime to help Xavier stay close.