The Xavier Musketeers have now won their last two tournament appearances in Orlando after picking up a 67-59 victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers on Sunday night.
One year after winning the AdvoCare Invitational in impressive fashion, the Muskies took home the title in the Tire Pros Invitational in 2016. It wasn’t the most spirited of efforts that got them the title - a far cry from their run through the AdvoCare Invitational a year ago where they took down Alabama, USC and in-state rival Dayton. But, wins count all the same, and the Musketeers to this point still have yet to be beaten.
The Musketeers were mostly led by the play of Trevon Bluiett. The junior wing scored a game-high 21 points on a 7-for-19 mark from the field and a 4-for-5 mark from the free throw line. Bluiett added eight rebounds and two assists as well after playing all 40 minutes of the game.
What we learned
The Musketeers got away with struggling from 3
Xavier still hasn’t found their form from outside this year and that was very evident on Sunday night. The Musketeers shot just 5-for-22 from long range, amounting for a percentage of 22.7 from that distance. Northern Iowa outshot them with a mark of 41.7 percent, but Xavier was still able to skate out of dodge with a near-10-point victory. We’ll see if that pays off for them int he future, but for now, X’s 3-point shooting woes haven’t done them in.
Trevon Bluiett remains the most impactful player for Xavier
While Edmond Sumner finished with 17 points and JP Macura finished with 10, Bluiett was the man for Xavier. He’s proven to be their ‘guy’ in the past two years and that was no more evident on Sunday night when things went awry for a majority of their players. A more balanced effort will have to be expected of them going forward, but they know they can rely on their star now after Bluiett’s performance on Sunday night.
Intrigue will be present again when these two teams meet in six days
So yeah, a neat scheduling quirk will arise soon as Northern Iowa and Xavier are set to meet once more on the 26th. With how close these teams played one another, expect there to be intrigue abound even with the matchup taking place in Cincinnati.