EditorsNote: 1st graf, add ‘points’ after ‘20’; 2nd graf, change Gooden to Goodin; 4th graf, change ‘with’ to ‘without’
Naji Marshall had 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Tyrique Jones added 20 points as the host No. 19 Xavier Musketeers pulled away from the Siena Saints for an 81-63 victory on Friday in Cincinnati.
Jason Carter had nine points, Bryce Moore had eight points and Quentin Goodin had seven points and three assists for the Musketeers, who took control with a 25-4 run in the second half.
Elijah Burns had 19 points and two 3-pointers, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason player of the year Jalen Pickett had 18 points and five rebounds and Don Carey had 11 points for the Saints, who have split their first two games.
Xavier played without junior guard Paul Scruggs, who suffered a knee injury in the season-opening 76-57 victory over Jacksonville on Tuesday, when he scored 12 points in 29 minutes. Scruggs averaged 12.3 points a game last season as the Musketeers’ second-leading scorer, and is a preseason honorable mention all-Big East selection.
Xavier limited the Saints to 37.5 percent shooting and had a 43-34 rebounding edge. The Musketeers have held their first two opponents to 39.3 shooting after previously limiting Jacksonville to 41.1 percent.
Jones had six points, Marshall had five and Moore had four as Xavier blew the game open with its big run for a 67-40 lead with 9:22 remaining after Burns hit a 3-pointer on Siena’s first possession of the second half.
Carter, a graduate transfer from Ohio University, played 16 minutes while starting in place of Scruggs.
The Musketeers established an early lead as Marshall had a 3-pointer and two free throws and Jones had six points during a 14-1 stretch for 26-16 edge. Siena went almost eight minutes without a field goal.
Marshall had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists, and Jones had 12 points and six rebounds in the first half, when the Musketeers took a 42-33 lead. Pickett had 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
—Field Level Media