GWASH
XAVIER

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Bluiett scores 20 points, leads No. 15 Xavier past GW

LAS VEGAS (AP) Xavier coach Chris Mack has a handful of offensive specialists who have an explosive first step, with none of them afraid to use it.

But Mack also knows none of that means a thing without defensive stops.

So, when his 15th-ranked Musketeers saw a 14-point lead shrink to six on Thursday in the Las Vegas Invitational, they shifted gears and held George Washington without a field goal for nearly seven minutes en route to an 83-64 win. Trevon Bluiett scored 20 points to lead the Musketeers, who went into the game leading the Big East and ranked fifth nationally in field-goal percentage at 56.8.

''You're eventually going to run into an off-shooting night, or an opponent that has just as much talent as you on the offensive end, and if you can't stop somebody, your season is going to end short,'' Mack said. ''We want to measure ourselves against the elite defensive teams in the country, and we're not there yet, but we need to get there.''

Xavier (5-0), which shot a blistering 62.5 from the field in the second half, finished the game hitting 33 of 57 from the floor, including 5 of 13 from 3-point range. At the other end, the Musketeers held George Washington to just 37.9 percent shooting (11 of 29) in the second half, and 23 of 57 (40.4 percent) for the game.

''We competed our tails off,'' George Washington coach Maurice Joseph said. ''I was proud of our effort. ... But you've got to put together 40 minutes of basketball to beat a time like that.''

Xavier got 14 points off George Washington's 13 turnovers, while outscoring the Colonials 54-16 in the paint.

Quentin Goodin added 16 points for the Musketeers, and Sean O'Mara had 10.

''We've built the chemistry not only on the court, but off the court,'' Bluiett said. ''We're a pretty close, tight-knit group and I think that helps when we're on the court together. Everybody, one through 13, has the confidence in their abilities.''

Trailing 62-48 in the second half, George Washington (2-3) made a run at the Musketeers to make things interesting, using an 8-0 spurt to cut the lead to 62-56 with 8:46 left. After a scoring drought of nearly six minutes, Bluiett scored seven of the Musketeers' next nine points to push Xavier's lead back to double digits with 3:49 left in the game.

''Tre has that capability, he's got the green light, he's got all the confidence in the world and we run some stuff for him, to free him,'' Mack said. ''He makes game-winning plays, and you got to expect that when you're a senior all-American candidate.''

Meanwhile, as Bluiett was taking over, the Colonials' only points during a six-minute, 42-second scoring drought came from a pair of free throws by Justin Williams.

''Trevon Bluiett is an experienced guy, hell of a shot maker,'' Joseph said. ''We lost him a couple of times. Credit to him and his experience and talent level and his ability to make shots. But we also lost him a couple of times and had some breakdowns. They went to their star player and he made big plays for them.''

Terry Nolan Jr. led George Washington with 18 points. Jair Bolden and Yuta Watanabe each had 16.

BIG PICTURE

George Washington: With one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the nation, the Colonials should be tested by their Atlantic 10 opener against St. Joseph's on Dec. 30. After Florida State and Xavier, the Colonials still have either Arizona State or Kansas State, Temple, Princeton, Penn State and Miami.

Xavier: Macura moved up to 35th place on Xavier's career scoring list. Heading into Thursday's matchup, the 6-foot-5 senior guard and Bluiett ranked first among the nation's top active scoring duos with a combined 2,790 points.

UP NEXT

George Washington faces the loser of the Arizona State-Kansas State game Friday.

Xavier will play the winner of the Arizona State-Kansas State game Friday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
+ 2 Jair Bolden made jump shot 5.0
+ 2 Naji Marshall made layup 20.0
  Defensive rebound by Naji Marshall 46.0
  Jair Bolden missed 3-pt. jump shot 48.0
+ 2 Naji Marshall made layup, assist by Kaiser Gates 1:01
+ 2 Yuta Watanabe made jump shot 1:23
+ 1 Tyrique Jones made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:33
+ 1 Tyrique Jones made 1st of 2 free throws 1:33
  Personal foul on Yuta Watanabe 1:33
  Defensive rebound by Tyrique Jones 1:34
  Yuta Watanabe missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:36
Team Stats
Points 64 83
Field Goals 23-57 (40.4%) 33-57 (57.9%)
3-Pointers 8-22 (36.4%) 5-13 (38.5%)
Free Throws 10-15 (66.7%) 12-15 (80.0%)
Total Rebounds 26 38
Offensive 7 7
Defensive 19 28
Team 0 3
Assists 8 13
Steals 5 7
Blocks 4 1
Turnovers 11 13
Fouls 16 13
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST
20 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Geo. Wash. 2-3 362864
home team logo 15 Xavier 5-0 434083
Team Stats
away team logo Geo. Wash. 2-3 67.2 PPG 35.8 RPG 13.5 APG
home team logo 15 Xavier 5-0 85.2 PPG 40.8 RPG 16.9 APG
Key Players
1
T. Nolan Jr. G 9.6 PPG 3.3 RPG 2.6 APG 41.8 FG%
5
T. Bluiett G 19.2 PPG 5.6 RPG 2.7 APG 45.4 FG%
Top Scorers
T. Nolan Jr. G 18 PTS 3 REB 1 AST
T. Bluiett G 20 PTS 7 REB 3 AST
40.4 FG% 57.9
36.4 3PT FG% 38.5
66.7 FT% 80.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Nolan Jr. 40 18 3 1 2 1 2 2 7/9 3/5 1/5 2 1
Y. Watanabe 40 16 3 1 1 1 2 1 6/13 0/3 4/4 0 3
J. Bolden 38 16 6 3 1 2 3 3 6/22 4/12 0/0 0 6
A. Toro 27 7 7 2 1 0 1 4 2/5 1/2 2/2 3 4
P. Steeves 35 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 1/7 0/0 0/0 1 4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Nolan Jr. 40 18 3 1 2 1 2 2 7/9 3/5 1/5 2 1
Y. Watanabe 40 16 3 1 1 1 2 1 6/13 0/3 4/4 0 3
J. Bolden 38 16 6 3 1 2 3 3 6/22 4/12 0/0 0 6
A. Toro 27 7 7 2 1 0 1 4 2/5 1/2 2/2 3 4
P. Steeves 35 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 1/7 0/0 0/0 1 4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Williams 8 3 2 0 0 0 0 3 0/0 0/0 3/4 1 1
B. Zeigler 10 2 0 0 0 0 3 3 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Mazzulla 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
L. Sasser - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Mitola - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Granger - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Jack - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Langarica - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 64 26 8 5 4 11 16 23/57 8/22 10/15 7 19
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Bluiett 37 20 7 3 1 0 2 2 7/15 3/6 3/4 0 7
Q. Goodin 29 16 4 4 4 1 5 2 6/9 0/0 4/4 1 3
T. Jones 21 8 11 0 0 0 1 2 3/5 0/0 2/2 3 8
J. Macura 31 6 4 2 1 0 1 1 2/5 0/1 2/2 2 2
K. Gates 29 6 2 3 1 0 1 1 2/7 2/6 0/0 0 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Bluiett 37 20 7 3 1 0 2 2 7/15 3/6 3/4 0 7
Q. Goodin 29 16 4 4 4 1 5 2 6/9 0/0 4/4 1 3
T. Jones 21 8 11 0 0 0 1 2 3/5 0/0 2/2 3 8
J. Macura 31 6 4 2 1 0 1 1 2/5 0/1 2/2 2 2
K. Gates 29 6 2 3 1 0 1 1 2/7 2/6 0/0 0 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. O'Mara 16 10 2 0 0 0 0 1 5/6 0/0 0/0 0 2
N. Marshall 15 8 1 0 0 0 0 2 4/6 0/0 0/0 0 1
P. Scruggs 14 7 1 1 0 0 2 0 3/3 0/0 1/3 0 1
K. Kanter 6 2 3 0 0 0 1 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 2
E. Harden 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
L. Schrand - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Singleton - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Vanderpohl - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 83 35 13 7 1 13 13 33/57 5/13 12/15 7 28