EditorsNote: 2nd update: Adds pairings for Friday’s game
Tyrique Jones posted his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 18 Xavier rode a balanced attack to a 73-51 victory over Towson in the first round of the Charleston (S.C.) Classic on Thursday.
Bryce Moore had season highs with 12 points and three 3-pointers for the Musketeers (5-0). Jason Carter had a season-high 13 points and nine rebounds, Paul Scruggs had 11 points, four rebounds and five assists, and leading scorer Naji Marshall had nine points, nine rebounds and five assists for Xavier.
Brian Fobbs had 14 points, Allen Betrand had 12 points and five rebounds, and Nakye Sanders had seven points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers (2-3). Towson has lost three in a row, all to teams that played in postseason tournaments in 2019.
The Tigers managed just 30.5 percent shooting.
The Musketeers will play Connecticut in the semifinals Friday. UConn defeated Buffalo 79-68 later Thursday. The finals are Sunday.
Xavier made 9 of 22 from 3-point range, hitting seven in the second half. Moore’s four-point play with 9:49 remaining gave the Musketeers a 47-31 lead, and he made two more 3-pointers in the next two minutes. Towson never was closer than 12 again.
Jones and Scruggs had four points apiece, and Marshall and freshman Dahmir Bishop hit 3-pointers as the Musketeers went on an 18-6 run to take a 20-11 lead eight minutes into the game.
Towson missed 11 consecutive field-goal attempts and had a seven-minute, 52-second scoring drought before Fobbs hit a layup to trim Xavier’s lead to 28-17 late in the first half.
The Tigers’ Jakigh Dottin hit a 3-pointer from just past midcourt line as time expired in the first half to cut the Tigers’ deficit to 31-20.
—Field Level Media