UCONN Goes On Big Second Half Run; Defeats Xavier 87-60

(Photo by Trent Grayson)


After a victory over Butler, the Xavier Musketeers were not able to keep their run at MSG going as the Connecticut Huskies defeated Xavier, likely ending their season.


Things started off so strong for the Musketeers scoring the first 10 points of the game with six of those points coming on threes from Quincy Olivari.


UCONN responded quickly with a 13-0 scoring run of their own over the next three and a half minutes but Xavier kicked back into gear and fought with the defending National Champs all the way to the halftime buzzer. The Musketeers were able to get back up to a 26-23 lead with four minutes remaining in the half after Lazar Djokovic knocked down a couple free-throws. UCONN took the lead shortly after but Xavier cut the score to a 1 point difference on a Dayvion McKnight floater at the buzzer making it a 34-33 game.


Things were looking up for the Musketeers going into the half, going toe for toe with a 1 seed, arguably the best team in the country and a team that has a great chance to repeat as the NCAA Champions, but then the avalanche of Connecticut's offense took over the game.


The Huskies ability to get everyone involved in their offense is extremely impressive and made all the difference clinching this matchup. Alex Karaban and Triston Newton got the second half started with a basket each, then Stephon Castle joined the party helping the team put Xavier away. After a Samson Johnson slam, and a Newton layup the Huskies were up 12 with 10 minutes remaining, These were the first two made baskets of UCONN's game clinching 15 straight made shots to close the game. NBA Draft prospect Donovan Clingan helped put his fingerprints on this win with 10 straight points during the run.


On the other end, Xavier couldn't get their offense back in the groove from the first half Going 9-32 from the field and 2-12 from 3, leading to just 27 points in the half while UCONN put up 53 leading to the 87-60 rout.


Quincy Olivari led all scorers in the game with 17 points and fell just one made three-pointer short of Xavier's single season record with 104, the record is held by Trevon Bluiett with 105 in the 2017-18 season.


Now, Xavier plays wait and see. Head Coach Sean Miller said in his post game presser that if the NIT calls, his team is open to playing if the invite is extended.

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