Xavier picked up the win with a great night shooting from the field, converting on 49.1 percent of their attempts and 42.1 percent from the 3-point line. The Musketeers reeled off 20 assists on 26 made field goals. That efficiency was however somewhat negated by their 19 turnovers on the night, but as they say: A win is a win.
Xavier was also active on the boards, out-muscling the Blue Demons 37-22 with 13 offensive boards. Kaiser Gates led the way with 10 rebounds off the bench.
Trevon Bluiett spearheaded the charge with 20 points scored on 8-18 shooting, including a 4-8 mark from beyond the arc. His point total, his 3-pointers made, and his 3-pointers attempted were all game highs and also had seven rebounds to boot.
J.P. Macura had 13 points, seven rebounds, and six assists on the night while RaShid Gaston added 14 points and five boards off of the bench.
DePaul put in a strong effort, but ultimately couldn’t keep up with Xavier. The Blue Demons were as close as 46-42 with 13:03 left in the second half before letting go of the rope. Freshman Brandon Cyrus had a team- and career-high 18 points on 7-12 shooting. This is his third double-digit performance in the last foupr games, so he seems to be making the adjustment to the college game. Being a third scoring option will be valuable for the Blue Demons down the final stretch of the regular season.
The normal top two performers, Eli Cain and Billy Garrett Jr., also put up double-digit games. Cain finished with 15 points along with five rebounds and four assists whuile Garrett added 12 points, four assists and two steals.
DePaul didn’t get much production from anyone else however. Chris Harrison-Docks was the only scorer off the bench with at least eight points. Starters Joe Hanel and Tre’Darius McCallum combined for eight points, five rebounds, four turnovers, and nine fouls.
Both schools play again on Saturday. Xavier has a huge challenge awaiting when they host #2 Villanova. DePaul will head back to Chicago to host #23 Creighton.