The Xavier Musketeers pulled off a stunner on Saturday that Stone Cold himself would be proud of.
The Musketeers snapped the Seton Hall Pirates’ lengthy win streak and put an end to their unbeaten ways in Big East play with their 74-62 road win. The victory was just the third that the Musketeers have picked up in Big East play this year, putting things in great perspective when it comes to how much of an upset this truly was.
Seton Hall really didn’t stand much of a chance in this one from the jump. The Pirates’ largest lead was 2-0 within the first minute of the game. From there, Xavier would outscore them 30-4 at one point, holding a 30-6 edge at the 7:44 mark in the first half. The Pirates couldn’t quite climb back in it after that, as they were facing a mighty large deficit from that point on. They got it to as close as seven in the latter portions of the half, but the relentless effort from Travis Steele’s Musketeers made it certain that Seton Hall wouldn’t get any closer than that.
The win came thanks in large part to a well-balanced effort from Xavier’s scorers. Case in point, their 18-0 run in the first few minutes of the first half saw six different players get a bucket. Naji Marshall, Tyrique Jones, Jason Carter, Paul Scruggs, Zach Freemantle and KyKy Tandy all chipped in and helped build up that big lead that they held nearly wire to wire.
Jones and Marshall led the way with 19 points apiece. The two were joined in double figures by Tandy, who put up 14 points on five made buckets, with two made free throws to boot. Collectively, the team shot 54.5 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point land. The only weakness was free throw shooting, as the Musketeers were just 9-for-20 at the line. But, that wound up not even being a factor in the end result.
Quincy McKnight led the Pirates in scoring with 15 points. Jared Rhoden and Sandro Mamukelashvili each had 13 and 10 points, joining McKnight in double figures. The usually great Myles Powell was unusually skittish, as Powell scored just nine points and went 3-for-14 from the field and 1-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Big East play will continue on for both teams later this week. The Pirates will battle the Georgetown Hoyas on Wednesday, and the Musketeers take on the DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday.