CINCINNATI – No. 22 Xavier handed No. 2 UConn its first loss of the season, 83-73, on Saturday afternoon at Cintas Center. The Musketeers improved to 12-3 (4-0 BIG EAST), while the Huskies dropped to 14-1 (3-1 BIG EAST).
The game featured seven ties and seven lead changes. With the game tied at 71-71 with 4:12 left in the game, the Musketeers closed the contest with a 12-2 run to pull away for the 10-point victory (83-73). Xavier was 2-for-4 from the floor and 8-for-9 from the foul line during the scoring run.
Zach Freemantle posted his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. The forward was 6-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the foul line. He added five assists and a game-high three steals.
• Colby Jones added 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting. He added five assists, four rebounds and two steals. The guard has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
• Jerome Hunter scored 15 points on 3-for-4 shooting and was 9-for-9 from the foul line. The forward added five rebounds in 20 minutes of action off the bench. The 15 points are Xavier career high in scoring.
• Jack Nunge posted 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. The forward added three rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal.
• Xavier posted its second-highest free-throw percentage of the season, going 23-for-28 from the foul line (.821). The Musketeers hit 53.8 percent (28-for-52) of their shot attempts, the team’s ninth game of the year hitting over 50 percent of their shot attempts. Xavier was also 4-for-13 from behind the arc.
• Xavier finished with 20 assists, the team’s ninth game of the year with 20 or more assists. The Musketeers also had 11 steals, the team’s fourth game of the year with 10 or more steals.
• Xavier has now won eight straight games and moves to 3-3 in the all-time series vs the Huskies. The Musketeers have started BIG EAST play with a 4-0 record for the first time in program history (joined the BIG EAST in 2013-14).
• The victory over No. 2 UConn is the second-highest ranked win at Cintas Center. Xavier defeated No. 1 Villanova, 90-83, on Feb. 24, 2016.
• UConn won the battle on the glass, 38-31, and scored two more second-chance points (10-8). Xavier scored 10 more points off of turnovers (18-8) and held a 40-28 advantage in points in the paint. The Musketeers also scored two more bench points (20-18).
The Musketeers return action at Villanova on Saturday, Jan. 7. Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. from Finneran Pavilion with game being aired nationally on FS1.
COURTESY XAVIER ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS