Muskies Escape Georgetown in Overtime
The Xavier Menís Basketball team continued their winning ways on Saturday night as they defeated the Hoyas of Georgetown 96-91 in an overtime thriller. The sell-out crowd at Cintas Center did not leave disappointed, though they may have a few finger nails missing. Senior guard Trevon Bluiett led the Musketeers in scoring with 31 points, making 9-16 attempted field goals in leading his No. 6 ranked team to a 21-3 record. Georgetown falls to 13-9 following the first of two matchups between the Big East opponents this season.
The game began with an early foul on forward Kaiser Gates as the officials set the tone for the remainder of the contest. While the game was extremely physical, touchy and questionable calls were made on both ends of the floor. Both teams shot in the bonus both halves, and 3 total players fouled out in the contest. Forward Kerem Kanter scored the first 7 points for the Musketeers with back-to-back post shots and a three-pointer to top it off. Xavier struggled rebounding the ball early in the game, giving up two offensive rebounds resulting in a Georgetown score and a Muskie timeout.
Following the timeout, Guard Quentin Gooden hit a three-pointer to put the Musketeers up 10-9 with 15:00 to play in the half. Xavier struggled at the defensive end for most of the game, particularly in transition. Georgetown moved the ball quickly up the court in transition before Xavier was able to set up defensively. The Hoyas scored 14 of 44 points in the paint in the first half. The half was ended with a fall-away, corner three-pointer by Trevon Bluiett at the buzzer to give Xavier a 46-44 lead.
Georgetown continued to shoot the ball well in the second half, overall shooting 33-74 on field goal attempts. Tyrique Jones played a huge role in Xavierís win, particularly in the opening part of the second half. Jones used his size inside and drew multiple fouls, posted up well, rebounded the ball and recorded one steal. Jones was a major piece to the puzzle as Xavier looked to find their groove on defense. Following a timeout, Georgetown knocked down a three-pointer with 4:18 to play in the game, making the score 77-75 in favor of the Hoyas. On the next possession, Trevon Bluiett hit a three of his own to put the Muskies up 1, electrifying the crowd.
Both teams traded made shots and fouls until a questionable foul call on Xavier allowed Georgetown to go up 86-82 with less than a minute to play. The next Xavier possession, Trevon Bluiett squared up for a three-pointer and made the off-balance shot as he was fouled, allowing his team to tie the game up following a made free-throw. Two last-second misses by both squads resulted in extra basketball for the Musketeer faithful at Cintas Center as regulation ended with a tie at 86 points.
Xavier won the tip to begin overtime and immediately turned the ball over. Both teams, playing physical defense, traded defensive fouls and missed shots to begin the overtime session. A loose ball foul on the Hoyas allowed Tyrique Jones to shoot free-throws as he put his team up two points. The Muskies led 92-88 before a clutch NBA-range three-pointer was made by the Hoyas to cut the deficit to 1 point. Xavier remained cool and consistent while shooting free-throws, allowing them to win the game 96-91 despite a somewhat sloppy defensive effort.
Xavier will return to action on Tuesday, February 6th as they take on Butler on the road. The game is set to begin at 6:30pm.