Despite a skittish start to the game, the Xavier Musketeers used a concerted effort from two of its premier players to trump the IUPUI Jaguars 66-43. The victory moves Xavier to 7-2 on the season as the Musketeers seem to be moving away from their ugly Thanksgiving Weekend performances against UTEP and Long Beach State.
Trevon Bluiett and Remy Abell combined for 23 points on the night and were the only Xavier players to reach double figures on Tuesday. Bluiett dropped 12 points whilst showing some efficiency, shooting 5-for-9 from the field. Abell, meanwhile, took just four attempts on the night, but sunk three of them as he scored 11 thanks to two made 3-pointers and a great effort at the free throw line.
The Musketeers will now break for a few days, before trekking down to Columbia, Missouri to take on the lowly Missouri Tigers of the Southeastern Conference. That game takes place on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.
3 things we learned:
1. Xavier didn't mess around in the paint. The Musketeers made a concerted effort to take a multitude of attempts in the paint on Tuesday night. And they made good on it, scoring 32 points from that area of the floor. IUPUI simply couldn't stop them inside as those 32 points nearly made for about half of Xavier's entire output. This came in comparison to IUPUI's 24 in the paint, which was far from dismal. But Xavier's efforts certainly did not go unnoticed.
2. The Musketeer offense was balanced, at least for a night. Coming into Tuesday, Xavier's offense ranked eighth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. On Tuesday night, they showed how divisive they could be. While they scored just 0.985 points per possession, 12 different players on the team netted at least two points on the night, including some of the walk-ons of the squad. It is somewhat disappointing that with 12 players scoring points that they could only amount to 66 points scored, but if nothing else, it's a good offensive performance.
3. The Jaguars had a bad, bad night at the 3-point line and probably cost them the game. Ideally, when you take 14 3-point attempts in a game, you should hope to hit at least 40 percent of them. In college, maybe 45 percent. Unfortunately for the IUPUI Jaguars they hit just one. Only one 3-pointer. Just 7.14 percent of their 3-point attempts were converted for points on Tuesday night in Cincinnati. With the discrepancy being a hearty 23 points, if they hit even just four more of those 3-pointers, they could have been in striking distance. This one may sour the Jags for quite a bit I'd imagine, given how close these two teams were at the half.