Xavier upsets Butler, heads to BIG EAST Semi Finals

TREVON BLUIETT SCORED 23 POINTS, INCLUDING A TOUGH FOUL LINE JUMPER THAT BROKE THE GAME'S FINAL TIE WITH 16 SECONDS LEFT, AND XAVIER BEAT NO. 18 BUTLER 62-57 ON THURSDAY NIGHT IN THE QUARTERFINALS OF THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT.

BLUIETT, WHO HAD SIX POINTS IN THE FIRST HALF, HIT THE WINNER OVER TWO DEFENDERS TO MAKE IT 59-57. BUTLER MISSED TWO CHANCES TO TIE OR GO AHEAD AND XAVIER ADDED A FREE THROW AND A DUNK AT THE BUZZER FOR THE FINAL MARGIN.

THE MUSKETEERS (21-12) WILL FACE THE WINNER OF THE CREIGHTON-PROVIDENCE GAME IN FRIDAY'S SEMIFINALS. IT WILL BE XAVIER'S FOURTH APPEARANCE IN THE SEMIFINALS.

MALCOLM BERNARD HAD 12 POINTS AND 10 REBOUNDS FOR SEVENTH-SEEDED XAVIER, WHILE SEAN O'MARA HAD 10 POINTS IN A WIN THAT ALMOST ASSURES THE MUSKETEERS A BID TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT.

KELAN MARTIN HAD 15 POINTS TO LEAD THE SECOND-SEEDED BULLDOGS (23-8), WHO HAVE NEVER WON A GAME IN FOUR BIG EAST TOURNAMENTS. THEY WERE HOPING TO BE A SECOND SEED IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT BUT THAT COULD IN DOUBT NOW.NEITHER TEAM LED BY MORE THAN TWO POINTS OVER THE FINAL 6 MINUTES UNTIL THE CLOSING SECONDS.

BLUIETT, WHO LEADS THE MUSKETEERS WITH AN 18.0 SCORING AVERAGE, CAME UP BIG IN THE SECOND HALF GOING 5 FOR 9 FROM THE FIELD, INCLUDING 2 OF 3 FROM 3-POINT RANGE.BOTH TEAMS STRUGGLED FROM LONG RANGE WITH BUTLER GOING 4 FOR 19 AND XAVIER 5 FOR 15.


Seg Dennison

Seg Dennison

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