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Jan 25, 2023 8:11 pm

No. 13 Xavier builds big lead, holds off No. 19 UConn

Souley Boum scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half for No. 13 Xavier, which never trailed and held on for an 82-79 victory over No. 19 UConn on Wednesday night in Storrs, Conn.

The Musketeers (17-4, 9-1 Big East) started hot and made enough plays down the stretch to sweep the season series thanks to Boum, who made four of his five 3-pointers after halftime.

Colby Jones added 20 for Xavier, which led by as many as 17 but saw the advantage slip to one on four occasions in the second half. Jack Nunge contributed 12 points and seven rebounds and Jerome Hunter finished with 11 points for the Musketeers, who shot 53.4 percent from the floor.

Jordan Hawkins scored 26 of his 28 in the second half before fouling out, but it was not enough as the Huskies (16-6, 5-6) lost for the sixth time in eight games and saw their 17-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion end. Hawkins made 8 of 16 shots and hit five of UConn’s 10 treys.

Tristen Newton added 23 but Adama Sanogo was held to 11 for the Huskies, who shot 41 percent from the field. UConn missed 13 of its first 14 3-point tries but finished 10 of 28 from long distance.

Xavier won its second game in a row and prevailed for the 13th time in 14 games.

After Xavier took a 39-24 lead into halftime, Boum hit three 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the second half for a 48-32 edge. The Huskies came back with a 16-5 run to get within 53-48 on a 3-pointer by Hawkins with 13:26 left and then were within 56-54 after Hawkins hit another trey with 12:13 left.

After two free throws by Hawkins made it 57-56 with 10:59 to go, Xavier scored 10 straight for an 11-point advantage after a 3-pointer by Jones with 9:19 left. The Musketeers took a 71-61 lead on a put-back by Hunter with 7:50 to play.

The Huskies roared back, and Andre Jackson’s dunk made it 73-72 with 4:52 remaining. The hosts were within 78-77 following a 3-point play by Hawkins with 2:40 left, but Nunge’s basket made it 80-77 with 88 seconds left, and Newton was called for traveling on the next possession.

Newton’s two free throws made it 80-79 with two seconds to go, but Boum hit two free throws on the next possession and Newton missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the horn.

–Field Level Media

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