#21 Xavier comes back from 17-point halftime deficit to win at Creighton, 74-64

Paul Scruggs led Xavier with 18 points

01.29.22

Xavier outscores Creighton 29-2 to open the second half to take control after trailing by 17 at the break

OMAHA, Neb. – No. 21 Xavier shot over 65 percent from the floor in the second half to erase a 17-point halftime-deficit and take a 74-64 win at Creighton on Saturday afternoon. Jack Nunge, one of four Musketeers in double figures, connected on a pair of threes to open the second half, starting a 19-0 run to open the second half to put Xavier in front. The Musketeers held Creighton with out a made field goal for for the first 11 minutes of the second half, leading to a 29-2 run over that stretch to build out a double-figure lead on the way to the 10-point win.

Paul Scruggs finished with 18 points to lead the Musketeers, Jack Nunge and Zach Freemantle each added 16, and Nate Johnson connected on five threes to finish with 15 points to help the Musketeers move to 15-5 on the season and 5-4 on the season and 5-4 in BIG EAST play.

FIRST HALF RECAP

  • Xavier scored the opening basket and the two teams traded baskets until a 7-0 Creighton run put the Bluejays up 13-6 at the 11:42 mark.
  • Xavier would get as close as five in the next five minutes before an 8-0 Creighton run extended the lead to 13, 25-12, with five minutes left in the half.
  • Four straight points from Paul Scruggs brought the Creighton lead back under 10,  25-16, before the Bluejays outscored the Musketeers 11-3 to close the half, setting the final score at 36-19 in favor of the Bluejays.
  • Zach Freemantle led Xavier with seven first half points.
  • Each team grabbed 21 rebounds, but Xavier held a 9-2 advantage on the offensive boards, leading to a 7-2 advantage on second chance points Jack Nunge led Xavier with five first half rebounds.

SECOND HALF RECAP

  • Back-to-back threes from Jack Nunge started an 19-0 run for the Musketeers to open the second half, taking the lead, 38-36, with 13 minutes to play.
  • After a pair of CU free throws, Xavier scored 10 straight, with two more threes from Nunge, to go up 10 points, 48-38, with 9:15 to play.
  • Xavier held the Bluejays with out a made field goal for the first 11:04 of the second half.
  • Creighton would get as close as six over the remainder of the game before Xavier pushed the lead back out to double digits, leading by as many as 12 before winning 74-64.
  • Xavier shot 65.5 from the floor, including a 75 percent mark from three (9-of-12) in the second half, while limiting Creighton to just 29.6 percent shooting, and just 1-of-11 from three after the break.
  • Jack Nunge went 4-of-5 from three in the second half and 6-of-7 from the floor to score 16 points.
  • Paul Scruggs added 13 points in the second half.
  • Nate Johnson shot 4-of-5 from three and 6-of-7 overall to add 12 points for the Musketeers.
  • Colby Jones and Zach Freemantle each grabbed five rebounds in the second half to lead Xavier to a 21-12 advantage on the rebounds.
  • Xavier had a 6-5 advantage on the the offensive boards but outscored Creighton 11-6 on second chance points.

NOTABLES

  • Paul Scruggs scored 18 points to lead the Musketeers, also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out eight assists.
  • Jack Nunge finished with 16 points, all scored in the second half, and grabbed eight rebounds. He finished 6-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-6 from three.
  • Zach Freemantle also scored 16 points after leading Xavier with seven in the first half and adding nine after the break. Freemantle grabbed eight rebounds, including five off the offensive glass.
  • Nate Johnson finished with 15 points after scoring 12 in the second half, and connected on 5-of-7 threes for the game.
  • Xavier finished shooting 42.2 percent from the floor and 52.6 percent from three (10-of-19), a season best percentage from three.
  • Colby Jones’ nine rebounds led Xavier to a 42-33 advantage on rebounds Xavier led 15-7 on the offensive glass, leading to an 18-8 advantage on second-chance points.
  • Xavier’s comeback from trailing by 17 is the biggest comeback since erasing a 22-point second half deficit against ETSU in 2017-18.

NEXT GAME

The Musketeers return home to host Butler on Wednesday, February 2 at Cintas Center. Tip-off with the Bulldogs is set for 7:00 p.m on CBS Sports Network.

COURTESY XAVIER ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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