CHICAGO (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored 22 points, and No. 3 Xavier set a school record for regular-season wins while clinching the top seed in the Big East with a 65-62 victory over DePaul on Saturday.
The Musketeers (27-4, 15-3 Big East) hung on for their 12th win in 13 games after DePaul’s Eli Cain and Max Strus missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds.
That ended Villanova’s four-year run of first-place finishes.
Bluiett became the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, making four to give him 310 in his career.
Brandon Cyrus led DePaul (11-19, 4-14) with a career-high 20 points.
Cain scored 14 as the Blue Demons lost for the fifth time in six games.
Xavier struggled to put DePaul away after building an 11-point lead in the second half.
A three-point play by Cain and two free throws by McCallum with 1:58 left cut it to 63-62 and brought the DePaul fans to their feet.
J.P. Macura then went backdoor for a layup to make it a three-point game.
Najii Marshall blocked a layup by Cyrus in the closing minute, and the Musketeers hung on for the win despite scoring just two points in the final 4:47.
After making just one 3 in the first half, Blueitt surpassed Romain Sato as Xavier’s all-time leader in the second.
He hit his school-record 308th 3-pointer about 7 1/2 minutes in, when he nailed one in front of the Xavier bench.
He answered a DePaul basket with another from long range to make it 50-39. And he struck again from the outside, hitting a 3 after DePaul cut it to 52-47.
Xavier: The Musketeers have their sights on their first Big East tournament title and a big NCAA run.
DePaul: The Blue Demons couldn’t connect from the outside, making 6 of 25 3-pointers.
Xavier: The Musketeers play in the Big East quarterfinals on Thursday.
DePaul: The Blue Demons play Wednesday in the first round of the Big East tournament.
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