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Xavier’s Winning Streak Comes to End Against Butler, 71-66: Recap

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier’s winning streak came to an end at Butler, as Xavier lost 71-66.

Xavier able to get off to a fast start against Butler, going up 9-2 behind a three from Paul Scruggs and three shots inside the paint. But turnovers helped Butler get back in the game quickly, as they scored four early points off Xavier turnovers.

Xavier led 14-11 with 13:11 left in the first half. Butler continued to cut into the lead, extending their run to 7-0, and trailed only 14-13 with 11:36 left in the first half.

It went back and forth from there, with Butler taking the lead twice in the next four minutes. Xavier was able to take it back twice, however, and led 22-21 with 7:33 remaining in the first half.

Xavier went up 24-21, but a quick 4-0 scoring burst for Butler moved them in front 25-24 with 3:58 left in the first half. Butler managed to extend the lead heading into the half, 35-32.

Neither team were able to get their offense going to start the second half. The teams combined to go 0-9 from three in the first five minutes and only made a combined 4-14 from the field. Butler led Xavier 39-37 with 14:54 left.

Xavier managed to stay in the game despite a three minute scoring drought, thanks to offensive rebounds by Zach Hankins and threes by Ryan Welage. Xavier eventually took the lead back when Naji Marshall made a bucket and drew the foul with 11:17 to go in the game, 48-46.

Butler took the lead back immediately on a three, and Xavier took the lead back to go up 50-49. Butler regained the lead a couple possessions later, and held a 51-50 lead with 8:55 remaining in the game.

Butler was able to extend their lead to 61-55, but a dunk by Tyrique Jones brought Xavier back within four points, 61-57. Butler held this lead with 3:43 to go. They were able to outlast Xavier 71-66 behind stellar play from guard Kamar Baldwin.

Jones and Scruggs led the team in scoring with 13 points apiece. Jones had eight rebounds, while Scruggs had five rebounds and a steal.

Hankins was right behind them with 12 points, in addition to grabbing nine rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking three shots.

Marshall finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, and a steal.