Trevon Bluiett leads No. 17 Xavier to rout of Morehead State

By Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 11, 2017 at 10:06 AM
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CINCINNATI -- Xavier's Trevon Bluiett has been dealing with a minor shoulder issue that has limited him in practice. But that didn't prevent the national player of the year candidate from having another huge shooting night for the 17th-ranked Musketeers.

Bluiett scored 25 points and J.P. Macura added 18, lifting Xavier to a 101-49 rout of Morehead State on Friday at Cintas Center.

Bluiett, who tested the NBA waters the past two summers but chose to return to Xavier, scored from virtually every spot on the court, including a baseline jumper from behind the backboard. He went 9 of 12, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

"I'm surprised quite honestly that Tre shot as well as he has because he hasn't practiced a whole lot," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "He's only been going live the last couple of days. That's not easy to step right in and look like you never left. It's a credit to him. He's a phenomenal player."

The Musketeers also got solid contributions from their freshmen.

Naji Marshall scored 12 points, Paul Scruggs had six points and four assists, and Elias Harden added five points and three assists.

"A couple of times the game felt fast for me, but I just had to slow myself down and go with the pace of the game," Scruggs said. "We just needed to follow coach's game plan and be aggressive."

The Musketeers shot 69.2 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from 3-point range and had 26 assists.

"I thought we played to win and we competed all the way through," Mack said. "That's not always easy to do. I thought conversely on the offensive end, we continued to play together, not get selfish."

Sophomore guard Jordan Walker led Morehead with 18 points. Malek Green added seven.

"It's getting 10 new guys to understand there are no off days," Morehead coach Preston Spradlin said. "A very good Xavier team showed us what happens when you don't do that. Obviously, we're not happy with the score. A lot of that is them, they're a very good team."

Xavier put on an offensive clinic in the first half with 17 assists on 22 field goals. The Musketeers shot 75.9 percent in the half to build a 62-24 halftime lead.

Bluiett had 21 points by halftime, going 5 of 6 on 3s.

Quentin Goodin, who took over at point last season when Edmund Sumner was injured and helped lead the Musketeers to the Elite Eight, flashed some of those same skills.

Xavier hit four straight 3-pointers, including two by Kaiser Gates, one off Goodin's penetration and kick, to go up 27-4.

Goodin had only two points but contributed seven assists. Gates scored 14 points, going 4 of 4 from 3-point range.

Morehead State went without a field goal until Emanuel Thompson's 3-pointer with 15:03 left in the first half.

By then, Xavier already was ahead 18-4 and the rout was on. It was the Musketeers' largest margin of victory since a 118-61 win over Louisiana Monroe in 1997.

"We've got a long way to go and I think our guys know that," Mack said. "We turned the ball over a little bit too much, gave up too many offensive rebounds, but again, I want to go back to our effort and I was really pleased we were able to defend the way we did for 40 minutes."

NOTES: Xavier G Trevon Bluiett moved into 14th place on the school's career scoring list with 1,600 points. ... Xavier's 62 points in the first half were its most in any half since scoring 68 in the first half of a 117-75 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 9, 2012. That also was the last time the Musketeers scored 100 or more points. ... Xavier leads the series 7-3. The last Eagles victory in the series was 99-84 during the 1979-80 season.

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