The Xavier Musketeers moved to 2-0 on the young season with a 78-66 win over the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday night.
Xavier's Trevon Bluiett engineered a strong second half run when they needed it the most after a sluggish first half in which both the Musketeers and Tigers struggled to shoot efficiently from all over the court. Bluiett, the heralded sophomore guard from Indianapolis, finished the game with a game-high 18 points whilst shooting an even 50 percent from the floor.
Four other Musketeers joined Bluiett in double figures as Myles Davis, Edmond Sumner, James Farr and J.P. Macura finished their nights with 10, 12, 15 and 16 points respectively.
Leading the way for the Missouri Tigers was Cullen VanLeer who scored 13 off the bench. Kevin Puryear kept up his strong start to the season with 12 of his own.
Here's what we learned from the matchup.
1. Xavier's plodding continued on Tuesday night.
The Musketeers hit a few speed bumps en route to their win over the Miami (OH) RedHawks on Friday night. Once again on Tuesday against the Missouri Tigers, X hit a dry spell. At one point, they went on an 0-for-11 run and allowed for Missouri to inch close and force the lead to change hands a few times in the first half. Xavier would eventually take over in the second half, but it is somewhat concerning to see this occur again. They will have to be much more consistent, especially so against their next opponent: Michigan, who they meet on Thursday as part of the 2015 Gavitt Games.
2. Missouri was tougher competition than expected.
Although they weren't shooting the lights out of the building, Mizzou battled very well against Xavier. It's never easy, as we've learned, to play competitively against Xavier in their home building. The Tigers were rather fearless though inefficient at times and played at a level that perhaps many weren't expecting. Coach Kim Anderson will likely still have his hands full down in Columbia, but from their perspective, this was a solid performance from the Tigers even if it got out of hand towards the conclusion of the game.
3. Trevon Bluiett has the ability to pull X out of the fire like he did tonight.
The talented sophomore from Indianapolis was superb in the second half of Tuesday night's game against the Tigers. Bluiett scored 10 of Xavier's first 16 points within the first six minutes of the second half, playing efficiently as well. Trevon missed just two shots up to the 9:45 mark in the second half, where Bluiett got up to 12 points on a made jumper. The sophomore forward is extremely talented as we've been made aware, and after a sluggish first half, his contributions were able to help pull the Musketeers out of the fire.