Paul Scruggs leads Xavier with 16 points, scoring 10 in the second half
CINCINNATI – Paul Scruggs scored 16 points, with 10 coming in the second half, to help the Musketeers erase a 14-point deficit against No. 17 Providence, and take the lead late, but a three in the final seconds from the Friars gave No. 21 Xavier a second-straight loss, falling 65-62 at Cintas Center on Wednesday evening.
Scruggs’ 16 points led three Musketeers in double figures. Jack Nunge added 15, leading the Musketeers with 13 first half points, and Zach Freemantle finished with 12 as the Musketeers move to 14-5 overall and 4-4 in BIG EAST play.
FIRST HALF RECAP
- After Jack Nunge scored the opening basket, Providence went on a 12-1 run to take a 12-3 lead five minutes into the game.
- A Dwon Odom layup off an Adam Kunkel steal stopped the PC run, but another 7-2 run for the Friars would push the lead to double digits, leading by as many as 14 in the the first half.
- A 10-3 Xavier run pulled the Musketeers back within seven, 31-24, with under two minutes to go before halftime.
- The Musketeers and Friars traded baskets in the final minute, but Jack Nunge connected on a three in the final seconds to cut the lead to six, 35-29, at the half, the closest the Musketeers had been since the 16:29 mark.
- Nunge finished the first half with a game-high 13 points, connecting on 5-of-7 field goals and 2-of-3 threes. He also grabbed five rebounds.
- Colby Jones led the Musketeers with six boards and Xavier went into the break with a 20-19 advantage on rebounds.
- Xavier committed three turnovers in the first five minutes of the half, leading to five points off turnovers. The Musketeers only commited one for the remaining 15 minutes, not leading to any Friar points.
SECOND HALF RECAP
- Back-to-back baskets from Zach Freemantle pulled the Musketeers within two, 35-33, a minute into the second half.
- Providence built the lead back out to multiple possessions, leading by as many as seven in the second half.
- With the Friars leading by seven, 53-46, with 8:37 to play, Xavier went on a 7-0 run to tie the game.
- Providence would go back in front, leading by five, 60-55, with 4:22 to play when the Musketeers went on another 7-0 run to erase the deficit and go back in front, 62-60, with under a minute remaining, Xavier’s first lead since the opening minutes.
- A pair of PC free throws tied the game up, and a Xavier shot to go-ahead in the final 10 seconds rimmed out. Providence grabbed the rebound and connected on a three with a second remaining to set the final score at 65-62.
- Paul Scruggs had 10 points in the second half, including a three to put the Musketeers in front in the final minutes.
- Zach Freemantle scored eight after the break, going 4-of-6 on field goals.
- Colby Jones grabbed a team-high six rebounds and added seven points, shooting 3-of-4 from the floor.
- Providence finished with a 16-15 advantage on the boards.
- The Musketeer out-scored the Friars 22-10 on points in the paint in the second half.
- Paul Scruggs’ 16 points led the Musketeers, with 10 points coming in the second half.
- Jack Nunge scored 15 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double with nine.
- Zach Freemantle finished with 12 points.
- Colby Jones finished one point shy of a double-double, scoring nine and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds.
- Both teams finished with 35 rebounds.
- Xavier finished with a 38-26 advantage on points in the paint.
The Musketeers head back out on the road, traveling to Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, January 29 to face Creighton. Tip-off with the Bluejays is set for 2:00 p.m. ET on FS1.
COURTESY XAVIER ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS