On Saturday afternoon, the seventh-ranked Xavier Musketeers took the floor in Waco looking to knock off the ninth-ranked Baylor Bears and lock up a signature win for the 2016-17 season.
Baylor, led by Manu Lecomte’s 24 points, proved to be too much for the Musketeers to handle, as the Bears won by a 76-61 margin. Xavier’s 21-game nonconference winning streak has been snapped.
The first half was a back and forth battle with each side trading buckets and the lead multiple times. Xavier led by nine at one point in the first half before Baylor trimmed the lead down to three going into the break.
Coming out of the half, the back and forth nature continued. Xavier led 51-50 with 11 minutes to play, and that was the last time the Musketeers would lead. Over the next seven minutes, Baylor went on a 21-2 run. Overall, Baylor held a 45-27 edge in the second half.
Trevon Bluiett had a great game, scoring 23 points on 6-10 shooting (all threes). Edmond Sumner had 17 points.
Here are three things we learned from this one.
Xavier rebounded well, messed up elsewhere
Coming into the game, everyone thought Baylor’s size could give the Musketeers fits on the glass. It didn’t. Xavier outrebounded the Bears, 47-35, and had five different players with at least five rebounds. The biggest issue for the Musketeers today was turnovers. They had 20 to Baylor’s 10. Additionally, Xavier went 16-28 (57% from the free throw line).
Only two parts of the three-headed monster showed up
Here are three Xavier statlines from Saturday:
Trevon Bluiett, 6-10, 23 PTS
Edmond Sumner: 5-11, 19 PTS
JP Macura: 2-16, 7 PTS
The Musketeers don’t necessarily need all three guys to score 20 points a game. It’s nice, but it’s not something you can expect. But Macura needs to do better than 2-16 from the field.
Baylor is very good
This isn’t a bad loss for Xavier. They went on the road and faced a top 10 team and lost. Baylor now has eight wins this year. Three are against top 10 teams (Oregon, Louisville, Xavier), and one was against Michigan State. Scott Drew and his staff are doing a phenomenal job down in Waco and the Bears will likely crack the top 5 of the AP Poll this week. The loss won’t hurt Xavier’s resume at all.