For the first time since November 2014, the Xavier Musketeers have lost back-to-back road games. Xavier fell, 68-66, to the Colorado Buffaloes Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. The Musketeers dropped to 7-2 on the year.
The Musketeers took a three-point lead into the half, 31-28, and continued their strong play at the start of the second half, leading by as many as nine points after the break. Colorado went on a 15-0 run during which the Buffaloes caught fire from beyond the arc. This run was ultimately the difference maker in the game, as Xavier never led again.
Trevon Bluiett continued his exceptional play, leading the Musketeers and tying his career (and season) high with 25 points. RaShid Gaston also had a strong game, scoring 14 points and hauling in 11 rebounds for his first double-double in an Xavier uniform.
For Colorado, Derrick White led the team with 23 points, while George King had 16 and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Here are three things we learned from this game.
JP Macura is going through a funk
After his dreadful 2-16 performance against the Baylor Bears on Saturday, everyone was expecting Macura to bounce back tonight and be a driving force for the Musketeers offense. His response? 3-9 for eight points and 0-5 from beyond the arc. A couple of those threes were airballs. Macura is a great player because he never lacks confidence, but sometimes when your shot isn’t falling, you have to know when to pass it up. He didn’t on Wednesday night.
Free throws are important
One of Xavier’s biggest problems in the loss to Baylor was the fact that they went 16-28 (57%) from the free throw line. In Wednesday’s loss to Colorado, the Musketeers were 13-21 (61%) from the line. When you lose a game by two points and you go 13-21 from the free throw line, you definitely have a sense of regret following you around for a while.
Winning on the road is tough
The Musketeers lost two games in a row. The games were to two power conference teams on the road. It’s not exactly the same as dropping games to a team from the Atlantic Sun on Southland. There are never excuses for losing, but it’s foolish to think these two losses are telling of something bigger for Xavier. X has a chance to get right back on the positive side as they welcome Utah, another strong opponent, to Cintas Center on Saturday afternoon.