The Dawgs are knocked out of the Big East Tournament by a recovering Xavier team in the second round. The 2 seeded Bulldogs end a stellar conference season, in a slightly disappointing fashion, but turn their eyes towards the real prize: the NCAA championship.
Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett carried the load for the Musketeers offensively scoring 23 points and having four assists. He also hit the jumper that put Xavier ahead with just 16 seconds left in the game.
Malcolm Bernard also performed well for Xavier, hitting three long balls and finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists as well.
The Dawgs struggled a bit from the floor, shooting just 42% from the field and a miserable 21% from three.
Kethan Savage and Kelan Martin coming off of the bench provided most of the offense for the Dawgs, scoring 13 and 15 points respectively.
The play of the game might have been made by Tyler Lewis in the second half. The senior point guard drove to the basket for the lay in, but his momentum took him flying into the cheerleaders on the baseline. Xavier inbounded the ball and began taking it up the floor with Lewis still on the ground. Out of nowhere, the veteran guard came running up from behind, stole the ball, and took it to the hoop to draw the foul.
Xavier did a good job of limiting Kamar Baldwin’s impact on the game. Despite having four steals, the Freshman couldn’t get anything going and was just ⅙ from three point land- including a trey that would have put the dawgs ahead in the final seconds.
With sixteen seconds left, Bluiett hit a midrange jumper to put the Musketeers ahead by just two. Butler’s coach Chris Holtmann called a timeout. The following possession, Butler inbounded the ball to Baldwin who took a quick three and missed. The ball fell perfectly to Butler’s Tyler Lewis at the freethrow line who missed a fadeaway jumper with just seconds left. Not a very clutch performance by the Dawgs.
Player of the game:
Trevon Bluiett seems to have Butler’s number, and this game showed nothing has changed. Xavier knew he would be instrumental in a win, the man played all 40 minutes of the game and was the leading scorer in the contest.
While it is disappointing to see Butler out early in the Big East Tournament, it might be a win win situation for everybody. Xavier desperately needed a win to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive- this should solidify them in the big dance. And now Butler gets to rest and practice in the week leading up to the tournament.
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