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No. 12 Xavier edges Creighton for 10th straight win

Jan 11, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Creighton Bluejays guard Baylor Scheierman (55) drives to the basket against Xavier Musketeers guard Desmond Claude (1) in the first half at Cintas Center. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Souley Boum had a game-high 26 points and 12th-ranked Xavier used a late second-half rally to beat visiting Creighton 90-87 on Wednesday night in Cincinnati.

Colby Jones added 20 points while Jack Nunge had his fourth double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the Muskateers (14-3, 6-0 Big East), which won its 10th straight and extended its best-ever start in Big East Conference play.

Baylor Scheierman had a team-high 25 points for Creighton (9-8, 3-3), which lost its second straight after a three-game winning streak. Ryan Kalkbrenner and Ryan Nembhard each had 15 for the Blue Jays, who are in the midst of three games against Top 20 teams.

Xavier overcame a six-point deficit with under 10 minutes remaining to capture its fourth straight win over Creighton.

The Blue Jays attempted to rally from a seven-point deficit with 1:31 remaining, drawing within 86-84 on Nembhard’s floater in the lane with 23.9 seconds remaining. Trey Alexander (16 points) forced a Boum turnover on an inbounds play with 22.3 seconds left.

But Jones forced a Scheierman turnover in the lane and Boum gathered the ball with 13 seconds left. Alexander’s three closed the gap to one with two seconds left but Boum converted two free throws to ice the game.

The first half featured several momentum swings. Creighton built three seven-point leads, the last coming on a pair of Alexander free throws with 1:39 left in the half that put the Blue Jays ahead 46-39.

But Xavier rallied in the closing moments of the half, including a three from Jerome Hunter with 54 seconds left to draw the Musketeers within one at 46-45. Hunter led Xavier with 10 first-half points while Kalkbrenner had 11 to pace Creighton.

Creighton held a commanding advantage in the paint, outscoring Xavier 22-12.

The back-and-forth continued well into the second half, with Creighton extending their lead to as many as six (70-64) on a pullup jumper from Nembhard with 9:20 remaining.

But Xavier responded with the next eight points, capped by Desmond Claude’s short floater. Claude was fouled on the play and made the free throw to put the Musketeers ahead 72-70 with 7:37 left.

After the Blue Jays tied it on a Kalkbrenner layup, Jones drained a straightaway three for a 75-72 lead.

Nunge’s 3-pointer from the top of the arc put Xavier ahead 80-73 with 5:17 left in regulation and sent the sellout crowd at Cintas Center into a frenzy.

–Field Level Media