Xavier 86, Georgetown 75
When: 2:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 22, 2017
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati
CINCINNATI — Coming off the toughest three-game stretch in program history, which resulted in three straight losses, No. 22 Xavier badly needed a win on Sunday against Georgetown. Banged up point guard Edmond Sumner and the Musketeers outmuscled the Hoyas to snap their skid.
Xavier’s Chris Mack
Trevon Bluiett scored 24 points and J.P. Macura added 20 as Xavier avoided its longest losing streak in 17 years with an 86-75 victory over Georgetown on Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center.
Sumner wore a brace on his sore left shoulder and had 14 points and seven assists with just one turnover. Late in the first half, Sumner sat on the bench in obvious pain but came back to deliver a strong second-half performance.
“Tough as nails,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “He was really locked in on what I was asking him to do: get teammates shots, rebound the ball, play fast and with pace. He’s been a warrior these past few weeks. He just wants to win.”
The victory helped Xavier (14-5, 4-3 Big East) avoid its first four-game losing streak since the 1999-2000 season heading into Thursday’s annual meeting with crosstown rival Cincinnati. The three previous losses came against No. 1 Villanova, No. 13 Butler and No. 7 Creighton.
“Damn, it feels good to win,” Mack said. “I think our team has done a really good job coming to practice with energy. You feel an inordinate amount of pressure because we'[re used to winning. The schedule doesn’t get any easier.”
Xavier outrebounded Georgetown 36-21, including 11-1 on the offensive end. The Musketeers were 36 of 49 from the free throw line.
“Free throw line and rebounding. Those two areas,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “We were getting paint touches and were throwing the ball in there. They did a good job defending us in there.”
Georgetown (10-10, 1-6) shot just 32.7 percent from the field and went 5 of 23 from 3-point range in a 74-56 loss to Providence on Monday.
The Hoyas found their stroke against the Musketeers, shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc to keep the score close for a while.
Rodney Pryor led Georgetown with 23 points and L.J. Peak added 12.
Xavier went nearly eight minutes without a field goal in the first half, but free throws kept the Musketeers in the game. They were in the bonus with 12:03 left in the half and went 12 of 19 from the free-throw line to take a 34-33 lead into halftime.
Peak, the reigning Big East player of the week, didn’t have a field goal until 2:02 remained in the first half. He had five points at halftime.
Malcolm Bernard hit a 3-pointer to put Xavier ahead 30-28 late in the half. He had seven points in the first half and Macura led the Musketeers with nine.
Xavier committed 47 turnovers in the previous three games and they were sloppy at times on Sunday. The Musketeers shot just 38.5 percent from the field and committed seven turnovers in the first half.
Georgetown had six players with two fouls by halftime.