Trevon Bluiett Scores 2,000th Career Point in Win Over Marquette
The Musketeer faithful witnessed yet another piece of basketball history on Wednesday evening when Senior guard Trevon Bluiett scored his 2,000th career point as a Muskie on the way to an 89-70 win at Cintas Center. The No. 8 ranked Musketeers took care of business and recorded their fourth straight win in convincing fashion over the Marquette Golden Eagles. Sophomore guard Quentin Gooden led in scoring for the 19-3 Muskies with 15 points while Graduate Transfer Kerem Kanter followed close behind with 14 points. Markus Howard led the 13-7 Golden Eagles with a game-high 33 points.
Kerem Kanter opened up the game with the first basket off of a beautiful pass from Senior guard J.P. Macura. Markus Howard returned the favor with a layup on the other end of the floor, followed by made three-pointer to tie the game up in the opening minutes. Howard scored Marquette’s first 5 points and 24 of the Golden Eagles’ 33 total points in the opening half. Quentin Gooden gave the Musketeers a boost on the offensive side of the ball, scoring back to back three-pointers following a Marquette traveling violation. This gave Xavier, who never trailed in the contest, an early 11-5 lead just 5:30 into the game.
The Musketeers played excellent defense in the first half and the trend continued for the remainder of the game. The physical man-to-man defensive pressure forced Marquette to resort to a pick-and-roll offense, working to the advantage of Xavier’s experienced and skillful big men. The Muskies shot the ball well in the first half, shooting 6-11 (55%) from downtown and a field goal percentage of 58%. Freshman Guard Paul Scruggs also played well for the Muskies in the first half, hitting a three-pointer and scoring through contact to connect on an And-1 basket on back-to-back opportunities for the Musketeers.
Trevon Bluiett was quiet early in the game, failing to score before 3:30 left in the opening half. Bluiett was able to knock down a three-pointer and returned the following possession with a tough, off balance jump shot. Bluiett continued his hot streak with yet another three-pointer and scored only 8 points in the first half, all in the matter of 2 minutes total. Bluiett was slow to begin the second half once again, though was able to record his 2,000th career point on a dribble-drive elbow jump shot with 7:10 left in the contest, giving Xavier a comfortable 80-57 lead. Trevon Bluiett, who is sixth in the Big East in scoring this season, becomes the fifth 2,000-point scorer in Xavier Men’s Basketball history. He ended the game with 13 total points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Muskies.
Marquette opened the second half in a 1-3-1 full-court zone to apply pressure to the Xavier guards, though it was no match for Xavier’s speed and ball movement. Gooden, an atypical leading scorer for the Musketeers, gained the respect of the Marquette defense with his scoring ability Wednesday night, forcing the Golden Eagles to over-help on Gooden’s drives to the basket as he opened up shots for his teammates. Xavier held a large 63-45 lead with 14:30 to play in the game while a torn net on the Musketeers’ basket forced the game to be delayed roughly 15 minutes.
Xavier followed the time-out with three straight baskets, causing Marquette to take another timeout. Quentin Gooden sealed the deal for the Musketeers with an electrifying 1-handed lob dunk from Paul Scruggs in transition following a Marquette turnover with 2:10 left to play in the game. Freshman guard Elias Harden added 2 points off the bench to close out the game, giving the Musketeers their seventh win in Big East play in an 89-70 statement win over the Golden Eagles
Xavier Men’s Basketball will return to action next Tuesday, January 30th at 8:30pm as they take on the Red Storm of St. John’s University. The Big East matchup will take place at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, New York.