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Xavier stays alive in Big East with win over No. 18 Butler

Xavier's Trevon Bluiett (5) celebrates after scoring during the first half against Butler during the Big East Tournament Thursday in New York. (By The Associated Press)
Xavier's Trevon Bluiett (5) celebrates after scoring during the first half against Butler during the Big East Tournament Thursday in New York. (By The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Bulldogs remain winless in Big East Tournament play

Thursday, March 09, 2017 07:28 pm
NEW YORK — Trevon Bluiett scored 23 points, including a tough foul line jumper that broke the game's final tie with 16 seconds left, and Xavier beat No. 18 Butler 62-57 on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. Bluiett, who had six points in the first half, hit the winner over two defenders to make it 59-57. Butler missed two chances to tie or go ahead and Xavier added a free throw and a dunk at the buzzer for the final margin.

The Musketeers (21-12) will face the winner of the Creighton-Providence game in Friday's semifinals. It will be Xavier's fourth appearance in the semifinals.

Malcolm Bernard had 12 points and 10 rebounds for seventh-seeded Xavier, while Sean O'Mara had 10 points in a win that almost assures the Musketeers a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Kelan Martin had 15 points to lead the second-seeded Bulldogs (23-8), who have never won a game in four Big East Tournaments. They were hoping to be a second seed in the NCAA Tournament but that could in doubt now.

Neither team led by more than two points over the final 6 minutes until the closing seconds.

Bluiett, who leads the Musketeers with an 18.0 scoring average, came up big in the second half going 5 for 9 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range.

Both teams struggled from long range with Butler going 4 for 19 and Xavier 5 for 15.

BIG PICTURE

Xavier: The Musketeers came into the game having lost six of eight and both wins were over DePaul. The streak coincided with the loss of point guard Edmond Sumner to a season-ending knee injury.

Butler: The Bulldogs swept the season series from Xavier. ... Butler and Xavier have been in three leagues together — Midwestern Collegiate, Atlantic 10 and Big East. ... The Bulldogs committed five turnovers in the first half, all within the first 6 minutes.

UP NEXT

Xavier faces the winner of the Creighton-Providence game on Friday in the semifinals.

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