Xavier held host DePaul scoreless for the final 8:23 of the first half to build a 19-point lead, but had to hold off a frantic rally to earn a 67-59 Big East victory Tuesday night in Chicago.
Senior forward Tyrique Jones (12 points, 18 rebounds) delivered his 14th double-double, while KyKy Tandy scored 14 points off the bench and Paul Scruggs added 13 points to pace Xavier (15-8, 4-6), which built on Saturday’s upset at No. 10 Seton Hall.
Paul Reed produced 18 points, nine rebounds and seven steals to lead DePaul (13-10, 1-9), which scored a season-low 16 points in the first half and wound up shooting just 34.3 percent from the field.
The Blue Demons opened a brief 6-3 lead, but the Musketeers seized control quickly as they drilled 8 of 18 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half. Meanwhile, DePaul canned just 6 of 30 field goals for the half.
When Reed sank a jumper and then turned a steal into a dunk with 8:23 left in the first half, the Blue Demons cut their deficit to 29-16. The Musketeers harassed DePaul into 0 of 10 shooting and four turnovers for the rest of the half, but only boosted their lead to 35-16 by the break as they missed 11 of their final 13 shots.
DePaul enjoyed a brief flurry to start the second half as Jaylen Butz powered his way for a short flip, and Jalen Coleman-Lands (17 points) buried back-to-back 3-pointers to slice the margin to 35-24, but Quentin Goodin’s layup at the 16:10 mark stopped DePaul’s run.
Xavier rebuilt its 19-point lead, but DePaul pulled within 57-47 with 2:24 left as the Blue Demons’ frantic full-court press forced back-to-back turnovers that led to a Reed dunk and layup.
Reed turned another steal on the press into a breakaway dunk to cut the lead to 59-52 with 1:51 remaining. Coleman-Lands added two free throws with 38 seconds left to make it 62-56, but Xavier’s Jason Carter answered with two free throws to keep DePaul at bay.
—Field Level Media