Xavier lost a tough game to Butler on senior night, 72-71. Naji Marshall converted a three point play with less than 10 seconds left to give Xavier a 71-69 lead, but Butler’s Kamar Baldwin nailed a three with 1.2 seconds left to seal their win.
The game started off slowly, with Butler leading 2-0 at the first media timeout nearly five minutes into the game. Both teams started find a rhythm on offense as the game remained close.
The lead changed hands 10 times in the half as neither team led by more than five points. Butler would take the lead with 5:13 left in the first half, staying in front until halftime, going into the break up 29-27.
Xavier opened the second half with a dunk by Tyrique Jones to tie the game. But Butler responded with a 7-0 run to take the lead back. They would hold onto the lead until 7:30 left in the game. The lead would change hands eight times in that time, including twice in the final ten seconds, as Baldwin was able to make a game-winning three.
Marshall led Xavier with 21 points and five assists. Jason Carter set a new career high at Xavier with 17 points. Jones finished with another double-double, scoring 14 points while grabbing 13 rebounds.
KyKy Tandy also reached double-figures in scoring with 10 points.
Turnovers, Free Throws Cost Xavier… Again
Butler scored Xavier 19-10 on turnovers despite both teams turning the ball over 12 times. Xavier also shot just 15-25 from the free throw line. These are the same issues that have cost Xavier in games all season. It cost them against Marquette and nearly cost them at St. John’s.
Avoiding “pick six” type turnovers will be necessary for Xavier to beat DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday night.