EditorsNote: Edit 1: Fixes throughout
Xavier forward Tyrique Jones had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Naji Marshall added 17 points when the host No. 19 Musketeers beat the Jacksonville Dolphins 76-57 in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday.
Paul Scruggs scored 12 points and freshman reserve Zach Freemantle had 11 points and five rebounds for the Big East Musketeers, who never trailed while winning their 30th consecutive season opener.
Bryce Workman had 15 points and eight rebounds and Aahmane Santos had 15 points and five assists for the Jaguars of the Atlantic Sun. Workman had 11 points during a 19-6 run when the Dolphins cut the Xavier lead to 64-47, forcing a timeout with 4:31 remaining before Xavier closed it out.
Xavier shot 48.3 percent from the field and used a man-to-man defense to limit the Dolphins to 41.1 percent shooting. The Musketeers scored 18 points off 18 Dolphins’ turnovers and led by as many as 30.
Marshall, a first-team all-Big East preseason choice and one of 50 players on the preseason Wooden Award watch list, added six rebounds and a team-high four assists along with a pair of steals. He led the Musketeers in scoring (14.7 points per game) and was second in rebounding (7.2) last season.
Jones, who had 10 double-doubles last season, made 7 of 8 field-goal attempts.
The Musketeers, picked to finish third in the Big East coaches’ preseason poll, took a 16-4 lead as the Jaguars committed six turnovers and were 1-for-6 from the field in the first six-plus minutes.
Marshall’s first basket with three seconds left in the first half pushed the Musketeers’ lead to 43-22. Marshall and Jones had six points apiece in a 19-2 run spanning the halves for a 54-24 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
The Dolphins played without leading returning scorer guard Tyreese Davis, who is recovering from a knee injury suffered last February.
—Field Level Media