KENTST
XAVIER

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Bluiett scores 26, No. 13 Xavier beats Kent State 96-70

CINCINNATI (AP) Coming off wins over two other highly ranked teams, Xavier had a chance to catch its breath, grind one out, and start getting ready for another payback game.

Trevon Bluiett scored 26 points - the seventh time he's had 20 this season - and No. 13 Xavier took control with an 18-point run Wednesday night, pulling away to a 96-70 victory over Kent State.

The Musketeers (8-1) built upon their impressive week. They beat No. 16 Baylor 76-63 last Tuesday at the Cintas Center. Four days later, they hosted crosstown rival Cincinnati, got ahead by 23 points and beat the then-No. 11 Bearcats 89-76.

Up next is Colorado. The Musketeers lost to Baylor, Cincinnati and Colorado last season.

''We just talked about it,'' said Sean O'Mara, who had 14 points. ''We've got Baylor already, we've got UC already. They're next on the list.''

Xavier never trailed against Kent State (5-4) , which kept it close at the outset with solid shooting but never recovered from the Musketeers' run that began late in the first half. Danny Pippen led the defending Mid-American Conference champions with 15 points.

''We fouled too much,'' said Kent State's Jalen Avery, who had 13 points. ''We weren't in the right position. We were down 11-0, 14-4. If we can learn from this, it will help us in the MAC. We won't play a team like this in the MAC.''

Bluiett hit two 3s as Xavier opened the game with a 14-2 spurt, making its first six shots. After tough games against ranked teams, coach Chris Mack wanted his players to make sure they didn't come out flat.

''I got asked four or five times about a letdown,'' Mack said. ''You can't shield your guys from hearing people ask about it. I didn't want that to happen to us. I thought from the very beginning we were ready to go.''

Kerem Kanter added a season-high 20 points along with eight rebounds.

Xavier has won 36 straight non-conference home games, the last loss coming against Wofford 56-55 on Dec. 22, 2012. The Musketeers are 234-35 all-time at the Cintas Center.

BIG PICTURE

Kent State: Leading scorer Jaylin Walker (17.7 points per game) missed his third straight game with an ankle injury. Seven-foot center Adonis De La Rosa led the Golden Flashes the two previous games, averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. Xavier took him out of the game. He managed only two points and fouled out with 13:09 to go.

''We wanted to make sure we stopped him early,'' Kanter said. ''He's an aggressive player. He got a couple of fouls early.''

Xavier: The Musketeers came in shooting 54 percent from the field, second-best in the nation. Bluiett went 3 for 3 and Xavier made its first six shots while pulling out to a double-digit lead. The Musketeers shot 53 percent overall from the field.

A LOT OF WHISTLES

The officials called 44 fouls. Xavier went 24 of 25 on free throws, while Kent State - which came in shooting only 58.9 percent from the line - was 16 of 22. Both teams were in the bonus at 11:32 of the first half. Xavier had trouble getting its offense into a flow with all the fouls.

''But it went both ways,'' O'Mara said. ''I think they had issues with it, too. Once we adjusted to it, we got our offense flowing.''

T TIME

Pippen also got a technical foul early in the game.

UP NEXT

The Golden Flashes make an hour drive north and play at Wright State on Saturday.

The Musketeers host Colorado on Saturday, the fourth of their six straight home games.

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Key Players
J. Avery
0 G
T. Bluiett
5 G
32.6 Min. Per Game 32.6
20.8 Pts. Per Game 20.8
2.9 Ast. Per Game 2.9
5.6 Reb. Per Game 5.6
42.4 Field Goal % 53.6
32.4 Three Point % 46.8
84.2 Free Throw % 88.2
+ 2 Jonathan Nwankwo made jump shot, assist by Ryan Bernstein 13.0
+ 2 Elias Harden made jump shot, assist by Nick Vanderpohl 20.0
+ 2 Jonathan Nwankwo made layup, assist by Akiean Frederick 42.0
  Defensive rebound by Mitch Peterson 48.0
  Paul Scruggs missed layup 50.0
  Defensive rebound by Paul Scruggs 57.0
  Jonathan Nwankwo missed dunk 59.0
  Offensive rebound by Jonathan Nwankwo 59.0
  Taishaun Johnson missed layup 1:01
  Defensive rebound by Taishaun Johnson 1:08
  Elias Harden missed jump shot 1:10
Team Stats
Points 70 96
Field Goals 24-59 (40.7%) 33-62 (53.2%)
3-Pointers 6-16 (37.5%) 6-18 (33.3%)
Free Throws 16-22 (72.7%) 24-25 (96.0%)
Total Rebounds 27 39
Offensive 8 8
Defensive 17 26
Team 2 5
Assists 14 21
Steals 4 4
Blocks 4 4
Turnovers 12 8
Fouls 26 18
Technicals 1 0
15 PTS, 3 REB
26 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Kent State 5-4 323870
home team logo 13 Xavier 8-1 484896
Team Stats
away team logo Kent State 5-4 73.0 PPG 38.2 RPG 11.6 APG
home team logo 13 Xavier 8-1 84.4 PPG 41.2 RPG 16.5 APG
Key Players
5
D. Pippen F 8.1 PPG 6.8 RPG 0.6 APG 40.9 FG%
5
T. Bluiett G 19.3 PPG 5.5 RPG 2.5 APG 43.7 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Pippen F 15 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
T. Bluiett G 26 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
40.7 FG% 53.2
37.5 3PT FG% 33.3
72.7 FT% 96.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. Pippen 21 15 3 0 1 1 2 4 4/7 2/2 5/6 1 2
J. Avery 36 13 3 5 0 0 1 1 5/9 1/3 2/2 0 3
K. Zabo 31 12 3 5 0 0 1 4 4/11 0/2 4/5 3 0
M. Peterson 27 7 5 1 2 0 1 2 2/4 1/2 2/2 0 5
A. De La Rosa 19 2 3 0 0 1 4 5 1/4 0/0 0/0 0 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. Pippen 21 15 3 0 1 1 2 4 4/7 2/2 5/6 1 2
J. Avery 36 13 3 5 0 0 1 1 5/9 1/3 2/2 0 3
K. Zabo 31 12 3 5 0 0 1 4 4/11 0/2 4/5 3 0
M. Peterson 27 7 5 1 2 0 1 2 2/4 1/2 2/2 0 5
A. De La Rosa 19 2 3 0 0 1 4 5 1/4 0/0 0/0 0 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. Ridenour 19 10 2 0 0 0 1 2 4/8 2/3 0/2 0 2
J. Nwankwo 7 4 1 0 0 1 0 1 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 0
B. Duling 21 4 2 0 0 1 2 3 1/8 0/3 2/4 1 1
T. Johnson 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/2 0/0 1/1 0 1
R. Bernstein 6 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 0
A. Frederick 9 0 1 2 0 0 0 3 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 0
J. Walker - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 70 25 14 4 4 12 26 24/59 6/16 16/22 8 17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Bluiett 28 26 2 2 0 0 0 2 8/14 4/9 6/6 0 2
T. Jones 13 13 2 0 2 1 2 4 6/6 0/0 1/1 1 1
K. Gates 30 5 3 3 1 0 0 2 1/5 1/4 2/2 0 3
Q. Goodin 25 5 3 6 0 0 0 1 2/5 1/2 0/0 1 2
J. Macura 20 4 4 5 0 1 0 2 0/3 0/0 4/4 1 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Bluiett 28 26 2 2 0 0 0 2 8/14 4/9 6/6 0 2
T. Jones 13 13 2 0 2 1 2 4 6/6 0/0 1/1 1 1
K. Gates 30 5 3 3 1 0 0 2 1/5 1/4 2/2 0 3
Q. Goodin 25 5 3 6 0 0 0 1 2/5 1/2 0/0 1 2
J. Macura 20 4 4 5 0 1 0 2 0/3 0/0 4/4 1 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
K. Kanter 16 20 8 0 0 0 1 3 7/12 0/1 6/6 3 5
S. O'Mara 12 14 3 0 0 1 2 2 5/6 0/0 4/4 0 3
N. Marshall 24 6 7 2 0 0 1 0 3/5 0/1 0/0 1 6
E. Harden 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 0
P. Scruggs 20 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 0/3 0/1 1/2 1 1
L. Schrand 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
M. Singleton 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
N. Vanderpohl 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
Total 200 96 34 21 4 4 8 18 33/62 6/18 24/25 8 26