NEW YORK (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored all 17 of his points in the second half and Xavier kept its hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid alive with a 75-64 victory over DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament on Wednesday night.
The win was the seventh-seeded Musketeers’ second in five days over DePaul, and it set up a second-round game on Thursday against No. 18 Butler, the second seed.
JP Macura had 13 points and six assists and Quentin Goodin added 13 points for Xavier (20-12). Despite a fourth straight 20-win season, the Musketeers probably need at least one more to get into the Selection Sunday mix.
Billy Garrett Jr. had 16 points to lead No. 10 seeded DePaul (9-23), losers of 11 of their last 12. Eli Cain added 15 and Tre’Darius McCallum had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Bluiett, who missed all seven of his first-half shots and his first of the second half, finally got going with a 3-pointer with 17:35 to play. It gave Xavier a 38-36 lead that it never lost and ignited a 17-7 run that opened a 52-43 lead with 12:58 to play.
Xavier, which was playing in the opening round for the first time in its four seasons in the Big East, led by as many as 14 points and was never threatened.
DePaul: The season is over.
Xavier: Will face No. 2 seed Butler in second round game on Thursday night.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.