Week in Review: Tu Holloway, Baylor shine

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Player of the Week: Tu Holloway, Xavier

Tu Holloway’s final numbers from the week were impressive: 22.5 ppg, 4.0 apg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 spg, six threes and 17-19 from the line. The wins that Xavier notched were equally good, as the Musketeers went into Nashville to knock off Vanderbilt in overtime on Monday and followed that up with a three-point win against Purdue on Saturday. What’s more is that Xavier came from behind in both games, trailing Vanderbilt by 10 midway through the second half and finding themselves down 19 to Purdue with less than 10 minutes left.

Those numbers are more interesting, however, when you break up the game. For example, with 3:30 left in overtime against Vanderbilt, Holloway had just 14 points on 4-17 shooting. That stat line looks much more impressive after he hit back-to-back threes on the next two possessions and four straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Likewise, against Purdue, Holloway had just 10 points and six turnovers in the first 38 minutes of the game, but in the final two minutes he hit a three on three consecutive possessions and followed that up with two free throws, completing the most impressive comeback of the young season.

All told, Holloway had just 24 points on 6-23 shooting with seven turnovers in the two games prior to crunch time. But in the final three minutes against Vanderbilt and the last two minutes against Purdue, Holloway had 21 points, went 5-6 from beyond the arc and knocked down all six of his free throws attempts. And it was those 21 points that have kept Xavier among the ranks of the undefeated.

The All-They-Were-Good-Too Team

G: Joe Ragland, Wichita State: Ragland had 15 points and three assists in a win over Cal St. Fullerton, but the reason he made this list is the 31 points — on 8-9 shooting from three — he had in an 89-70 win over UNLV. For the week, averaged 23.0 ppg, shooting 77.8% (14-18) from the floor and 84.6% (11-13) from three. He also added six assists and seven boards in the two games.

G: Damian Lillard, Weber State: The Wildcats were just 1-1 on the week, losing to St. Mary’s on the road, but that wasn’t the result of anything that Lillard did. The dynamic scoring guard had 36 points in the loss to the Gaels and followed that up with 41 points in a double overtime win over San Jose State. Lillard hit a three to force the first overtime and won the game with an and-one in the second overtime.

F: Hollis Thompson, Georgetown: Thompson led the Hoyas to a 3-0 week by averaging 17.7 ppg and 6.3 rpg. But it was the one game of the week where Thompson didn’t score 20 points that he had the biggest impact. The junior forward buried a three from the wing with 1.8 seconds left to give Georgetown a two point win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

F: Doug McDermott, Creighton: Doug McDermott had 25 points and 12 boards as the Bluejays knocked off Nebraska. That performance came just four days after McDermott went for 24 points and 12 boards as Creighton notched a win to put themselves on the map by coming from 17 down in the first half to beat San Diego State on the road.

C: Mike Scott, Virginia: Scott averaged 19.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg and 3.5 apg as Virginia moved to 2-0 on the season with wins over Longwood and Michigan. In the win over Michigan, Scott had 18 points and 11 boards on 6-11 shooting, taking over for a four minute stretch in the second half that sparked the Cav’s game-changing run.

Bench: Ryan Boatright, UConn (23 pts, 6 asts, 5 rbs vs. Arkansas); Zach Filzen, Buffalo (25.0 ppg, 12-19 3’s); Reggie Hamilton, Oakland (35 pts vs. Tennessee; 23.0 ppg, 6.0 apg in 3-0 week); Ken Horton, CCSU (31.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg); Anthony James, Northern Iowa (22.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Rob Jones, St. Mary’s (21.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.5 bpg); James Kinney, SJSU (27.3 ppg, 18-31 3’s); Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State (21 pts, 13 rbs vs. West Virginia); Darryl Partin, Boston U (27.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Terrell Stoglin, Maryland (28.0 ppg)

Team of the Week: Baylor Bears

Let’s start with the return of Perry Jones III. In his first game back from a five-game suspension stemming from illegal benefits that he received while in high school, Jones exploded for 27 points on 10-14 shooting, showcasing the kind of athleticism and versatility that makes NBA GM’s salivate. Jones is a perfect fit for what Baylor wants to do on both ends of the floor, and while he had just 12 points and six boards in Baylor’s win over Northwestern on Sunday, its obvious that his return has a chance to make Baylor a Final Four contender.

Speaking of that Northwestern game, Baylor recorded one of the most impressive defensive performances of the young season. Northwestern came in with one of the most high-powered offenses in the country, but after 40 minutes of dealing with the Bear’s length and athleticism, the Wildcats managed just 41 points, shooting 24.1% from the floor and 4-26 from three. According to statsheet, the Wildcat’s average offensive efficiency coming in was 110.5, but against Baylor, they posted an offensive efficiency of 66.2.

But as always, the issue with Baylor is at the point. Can AJ Walton and Pierre Jackson really be the kind of playmakers that Scott Drew’s team needs? The 18 points, 8-10 shooting and eight assists the two combined for say yes. The seven turnovers they had say no.

Teams deserving a shout out

American: After knocking off St. Joe’s at home on Sunday evening, the Eagles improved to 7-2 on the season and pushed their winning streak to seven games. With senior guard Charles Hinkle continuing his terrific play — he had 32 points against St. Joe’s after coming in averaging 22.3 ppg — can the Eagles challenge Bucknell and Lehigh at the top of the Patriot League?

Boise State: The Broncos improved to 7-1 on the year with a sweep of MVC opponents this week, beating Drake by 44 points and following that up with a 74-65 win over Valley sleeper Indiana State. Could Boise State actually finish in the top half of the MWC?

Indiana: The Hoosiers knocked off Stetson by 34 on Saturday, but the win that everyone is going to take notice of was when they went into Raleigh and knocked off NC State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. With players like Jordy Hulls, Cody Zeller and Christian Watford, there’s no question that Tom Crean’s club can score. The question is whether they are going to be able to defend.

Kansas State: The Wildcats put together a couple of nice wins this week. They used a second half run to put away both George Washington and Virginia Tech to remain undefeated. Most impressive, however, was Frank Martin taking his team across the country to play a fellow potential bubble dweller and winning.

Louisville: The Cardinals put together a couple of nice wins this week, knocking off Long Beach State on Monday before making a comeback in the second half to beat Vanderbilt. The Cards did it short-handed with what feels like half their roster continues to recover from injuries. Peyton Siva slowly-but-surely seems to be taking over the roll of the star for Louisville.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles continue to string together impressive wins. On Saturday, they went into the Kohl Center and knocked off Wisconsin while Jae Crowder managed just two points on four shots.

Minnesota: Did we count Minnesota out too early? The Gophers won two games this week after Trevor Mbakwe injured his knee, beating both Virginia Tech and USC to improve to 8-1 on the season. More impressive, still, is that Minnesota was also missing Ralph Sampson.

Northern Iowa: The Panthers continue to impress, winning games against both Colorado State and Iowa State this past week. The star of the week was Anthony James, who averaged 22.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg in the two wins.

Oakland: The highlight of a 3-0 week for the Grizzles was that, for the second straight season, Oakland knocked off Tennessee. And, also for the second straight season, the Grizzlies did it on national television. With Reggie Hamilton playing like an all-american, this is a team you don’t want to face in March.

Ohio: The Bobcats are now 5-1 on the season after another 2-0 week. After proving themselves feisty by hanging with Louisville at the Yum! Center, Ohio went into Huntington, WV, and knocked off Marshall on Wednesday.

Ohio State: Ohio State smacked Duke. But Jared Sullinger has back spasms. Anything else?

Syracuse: A 2-0 week with a win over Florida despite all the negative attention the program has received surrounding Bernie Fine is promising.

Tulane: For the first time in more than two decades, the Green Wave are now 9-0. And for the first time since 2003, Tulane knocked off a team from the ACC when they beat Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon. Its tough to really get a feel for how good this team is — Georgia Tech isn’t exactly going to be a Final Four team this season, and that’s Tulane’s best win — but 9-0 is 9-0. Can Tulane make it into the top half of C-USA?

Wichita State: You want to talk about an impressive win? The Shockers absolutely beat down a UNLV team that handed then-No. 1 UNC their first loss of the season. The final was 89-70, but the Runnin’ Rebels were never really in this game after the first few minutes. With the way that the Valley has started off this season, I think multiple NCAA Tournament bids — maybe as many as three — are likely.

Five thoughts:

Missouri Valley: Last week, I said that the WCC was the best mid-major conference in the country. I’m not yet ready to back track on that statement, but the Missouri Valley is making a push to be involved in the conversation. We all know about the success that Creighton has had early in the season, firmly entrenching themselves in the top 25 with a come-from-behind road win over San Diego State. After beating UNLV, Wichita State moved to 6-2 on the season with their only losses coming to Alabama and a Temple team that still had Michael Eric, both in Puerto Rico. Northern Iowa is 7-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming at St. Mary’s. The Panthers have six won six in a row, including games against Providence, Iowa State and Colorado State. Indiana State has lost two of their last three, but they get a shot on Dec. 17th to prove themselves at Vanderbilt.

The Valley doesn’t quite have the same depth as the WCC does at this point, but those four teams I just listed all have a real shot at bringing home a league title. As always, the Valley race should be fun, and as long as the top teams take care of the teams at the bottom of the league, we should be getting more than one Valley member dancing.

There are three “What in the hell is going on with them” teams in the country right now: Dayton, Loyola Marymount and Tulsa. The Flyers earned themselves some attention by winning the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, beating the likes of Minnesota and Fairfield. But apparently Dayton never left Florida, at least mentally, as they’ve lost their last two games by a combined 46 points to Buffalo and Murray State.

LMU looked like they had finally decided to play up to their potential this year when they knocked off UCLA early in the season. The Lions followed that up, however, with Middle Tennessee State and Harvard. Then, after beating another ranked opponent in St. Louis, LMU followed that up with home losses to Columbia and North Texas. And, lastly, Tulsa has as much talent on their roster as anyone in Conference USA. But their chances of winning the league look slim as the Golden Hurricane have lost five of their last six games, including Sunday’s home loss to Arizona State, quite possibly the worst high-major team in the country.

Middle Tennessee State: This team just keeps posting win after win after win. Nothing is overwhelmingly impressive — at LMU, at UCLA by 20, at home vs. Akron by 24, only loss at Belmont in double-overtime — but when they are all put together, that’s a pretty intriguing resume. The problem is that it will be another week before we really get a gauge on whether we need to watch the game: that’s when MTSU hosts Belmont and travels to Ole Miss.

Atlantic 10: Sunday was a bad day for the A-10, as four teams expected to finish in the top half of the league — Dayton, George Washington, Rhode Island and St. Joe’s — lost to Murray State, VCU, Maine and American, respectively. This came in the same week that St. Bonaventure lost to Arkansas State, St. Louis was upset by LMU and Temple got beaten by Bowling Green as Michael Eric was injured for six week. Xavier is terrific, but its looking more and more like the exciting race in the Atlantic 10 is going to be for second-place.

Big 12: The Big 12 may not have an Elite 8 team in their midst, but that doesn’t mean that this league won’t be fun. Baylor and Missouri are playing as well as they are going to all season long. Kansas has enough talent to compete even in a down year. Texas A&M is finally getting healthy. Throw in Kansas State — who just won at Virginia Tech to improve to 5-0 — and Texas — who came from 13 down to beat UCLA by double figures in Westwood.

Games of the Week:

Kentucky 73, UNC 72: We all remember what happened here. The two most talented teams in the country traded haymakers for 40 minutes before UNC inexplicably forgot to foul when they were down one with six seconds left. While the ending was a bit anti-climactic, that shouldn’t take away from how good this game was on the whole. You ready for that rematch in New Orleans?

Nevada 76, Washington 73 OT: Deonte Burton finally looked like the Deonte Burton that we all expected to see from the start of the season. The dynamic point guard had 31 points, including a three that forced overtime and eight of the Wolfpack’s 10 points in the extra frame.

UNLV 94, UCSB 88 2OT: The ending to this game was out of this world. At the end of regulation, UNLV opted to foul UCSB when the Rebels were up three with just a couple of seconds left. UCSB hit the first and missed the second, but 7’3″ Greg Somogyi got the loose ball and scored on the putback as the buzzer sounded. Then at the end of the first overtime, UCSB opted not to foul when they were up three, and Chace Stanback he a tough, falling down three to force five more minutes where UNLV would prevail.

Matchups of the Week:

– Tue. 12/6, 7 p.m. No. 13 Missouri vs. Villanova
– Tue. 12/6, 9 p.m. No. 16 Marquette vs. Washington
– Tue. 12/6, 9 p.m. Long Beach State @ No. 14 Kansas
– Wed. 12/7, 7 p.m. Arizona @ No. 9 Florida
– Wed. 12/7, 9 p.m. No. 11 Xavier @ Butler
– Thu. 12/8, 9 p.m. Harvard @ No. 10 UConn
– Sat. 12/10, 12 p.m. Washington vs. No. 4 Duke
– Sat. 12/10, 12:30 p.m. Cincinnati @ No. 11 Xavier
– Sat. 12/10, 2 p.m. No. 20 UNLV @ No. 7 Wisconsin
– Sat. 12/10, 3:15 p.m. No. 2 Ohio State @ No. 14 Kansas
– Sat. 12/10, 5:15 p.m. No. 1 Kentucky @ Indiana

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

No. 22 Tennessee beats No. 3 Kansas 64-50 for Atlantis title

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Tennessee’s players proved to be determined defenders and relentless rebounders, along with having the kind of toughness to ensure the reigning national champions would have little chance to get comfortable.

It was all enough to give the 22nd-ranked Volunteers a title of their own, along with the blueprint that coach Rick Barnes hopes they follow the rest of the year.

Santiago Vescovi scored 20 points while Tennessee locked down on third-ranked Kansas in a 64-50 win Friday night in the championship game at the Battle 4 Atlantis, snapping the Jayhawks’ 17-game winning streak.

Vescovi hit five 3-pointers as the tournament’s most valuable player for the Volunteers (5-1), who dominated the glass, overcame their own turnover troubles and made the Jayhawks work for clean looks. And for the third time in as many days, Tennessee won without leading scorer Josiah-Jordan James (knee soreness).

Perhaps that’s why reserve guard Zakai Zeigler, who had 14 points and four steals, showed up wearing sunglasses to the postgame news conference after the Volunteers had danced and hollered through the on-court trophy ceremony.

“We know if you can’t stop the man in front of you, then you’ll have no shot at winning the game,” Zeigler said, adding: “We just like to play defense, and we just happen to be good at it.”

The Vols held the Jayhawks to 32.1% shooting, bothering them with size and length around the rim. They also took the ball right at the Jayhawks with 5-foot-9 Zeigler leading the way, down to him refusing to let go of a jump ball and trading words with 6-8 forward Jalen Wilson.

Zeigler’s night included a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock at the 7-minute mark to push Tennessee’s lead to 56-38. He followed with another big one from the right wing with 4:42 left after Kansas had closed within 11.

Wilson and Joseph Yesefu each scored 14 points to lead the Jayhawks (6-1), who shot 28.6% in the first half and never warmed up. They made 5 of 21 3-pointers in what was an all-around rough night, from losing starting guard Dajuan Harris to fouls with 9 minutes left to failing to keep the Vols off the glass (45-27).

“We played a team tonight that was older and more mature and obviously played stronger and tougher,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We didn’t handle the situation near as well as what I would hope a poised team would.”

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: The Volunteers opened the tournament with a win over Butler, then grinded through an overtime win against Southern California in Thursday’s semifinals. This time, Tennessee played in front the entire way en route to its first title in three tries at the Atlantis resort.

“I think the main thing from the whole week was stay together through tough times, that’s what you’ve got to do,” Vescovi said.

Kansas: The Jayhawks didn’t have an easy first two days in the Bahamas. First came a battle to the final minutes with North Carolina State. Then came Thursday’s overtime win against Wisconsin on Bobby Pettiford Jr.’s last-second putback. But they never looked in any type of offensive flow this time with their smaller lineup.

“I feel like if we were able to get them out of place and not just have them standing there, waiting to contest a layup, that could’ve gave us some better chances at finishing at the rim,” Wilson said.

STRONG RUN

Tennessee held its three Atlantis opponents to 36.9% shooting and 15 of 59 (25.4%) from 3-point range. The Volunteers also averaged a +9 rebounding margin, ending with having Jonas Aidoo (nine) leading five players snagging at least six rebounds against Kansas.

“You can be a good defensive team but if you can’t be a great one if you give them second and third shots,” Barnes said.

SIDELINED

Beyond Harris’ foul trouble, the Jayhawks played most of the way without Pettiford, who exited midway through the first half grabbing at his right leg.

Afterward, Self said he would be out “for a while” with a hamstring strain.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: The Volunteers return home to host McNeese State on Wednesday.

Kansas: The Jayhawks host Texas Southern on Monday.

BYU erases 23-point deficit, beats Dayton in overtime 79-75

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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NASSAU, Bahamas – Gideon George scored 21 points and combined with Jaxson Robinson and Rudi Williams for BYU’s 15 overtime points as the Cougars came back from a 23-point deficit to beat Dayton 79-75 in overtime Friday.

BYU’s victory came in the seventh-place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

George’s 3-pointer with 2:19 left in regulation gave BYU (4-3) its first lead after Dayton scored the first 10 points of the game and led 32-9 with six minutes left in the first half.

Mike Sharavjamts’ basket gave the lead back to Dayton but George’s free throw with a minute left sent the game into overtime.

Dayton got the first points in overtime but Robinson’s 3-pointer gave BYU the lead for good halfway through the extra period.

Robinson had 14 points, Dallin Hall 12 and Williams 11 to join George in double figures for BYU.

DaRon Holmes II scored 21 points and Sharavjamts 15 for Dayton (3-4). The Flyers lost starting guards Kobe Elvis and Malachi Smith to lower-body injuries in the second half, Smith with with just seconds left in regulation.

Portland beats Villanova 83-71 in Phil Knight Invitational

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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PORTLAND, Ore. – Moses Wood scored 16 points and Portland beat Villanova 83-71 on Friday in the Phil Knight Invitational.

Villanova (2-4) has lost three straight games, including an overtime loss to Iowa State on Thursday to drop below .500 for the first time since March 7, 2012.

Vasilije Vucinic’s layup with 4:16 remaining in the first half gave Portland the lead for good. The Pilots had an eight-point lead at halftime and scored the first 10 points of the second half.

Wood added six rebounds and three blocks for the Pilots (5-3). Tyler Robertson scored 15 points while shooting 6 for 12 (1 for 5 from 3-point range) and added seven rebounds and eight assists. Kristian Sjolund recorded 14 points and shot 5 for 7 (2 for 3 from 3-point range).

Caleb Daniels finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats. Villanova also got 14 points from Jordan Longino. Brandon Slater had 11 points.

Caleb Grill, Iowa State topples No. 1 North Carolina 70-65

Syndication: The Des Moines Register
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PORTLAND, Ore. – Caleb Grill has followed T.J. Otzelberger from South Dakota State to UNLV and now back to Iowa State hoping the pair could share a moment like they did Friday.

Taking down the No. 1 team in the country was another bookmark moment in a long journey for the pair.

“I’m actually really enjoying sitting next to him from this moment right now just thinking about how long we’ve known each other and how cool this really was,” Otzelberger said.

Grill hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points and Iowa State rallied in the final five minutes to stun No. 1 North Carolina 70-65 in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational.

Iowa State (5-0) picked up just its third win over a team ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Cyclones are 3-22 against No. 1 teams, with the other wins coming against Kansas in 1957 and Oklahoma in 2016.

The Cyclones can now add North Carolina (5-1) to the list.

“I was just staying the course of the game. I never really thought about it and the game just kind of came to me,” Grill said.

Grill was averaging 7.3 points and had made just 4 of 24 3-point attempts for the season entering Friday. But he couldn’t be stopped from beyond the arc, hitting a pair of big 3s to spark Iowa State’s late rally. His deep fadeaway jumper just inside the 3-point line with 1:40 left gave Iowa State a 63-61 lead and the Cyclones did just enough at the free throw line in the final minute to close out the upset victory.

Grill’s previous career high was 27 points while playing for UNLV in the 2020-21 season against Alabama. He also hit seven 3-pointers in that game.

Grill originally signed with South Dakota State when Otzelberger was the coach there. He was released from his commitment when Otzelberger took the head job at UNLV and started his career at Iowa State before deciding to join his coach in Las Vegas.

When Otzelberger returned to Ames, Grill followed again.

“Just having him be the first person that really had belief in me, it’s just really special what he’s done for me and my family and everything we’ve done,” Grill said.

Jaren Holmes added 22 points and the Cyclones withstood off shooting games from Aljaz Kunc and Gabe Kalscheur, who combined for three points and missed all eight of their shot attempts. Both were averaging double figures scoring for Iowa State.

RJ Davis led North Carolina with 15 points, Armando Bacot added 14 and Caleb Love scored 12. But the Tar Heels will lament a series of mistakes in the closing minutes that allowed Iowa State to rally.

“We had wide open threes. We were able to get to the basket. We were able to get whatever we wanted, we just didn’t make those shots,” North Carolina coach Hubert Davis said.

North Carolina led 57-49 after Leaky Black’s layup with 5:43 left, but missed four of its final six shots and had four turnovers during that span.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times and you just can’t do that in late-game situations,” Davis said. “You have to be sound and discipline and you have to do that on both ends of the floor and we just didn’t do it.”

NO. 1 LOSSES

North Carolina lost as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015 when it lost 71-67 at Northern Iowa. The Tar Heels also lost as No. 1 to UNLV in 2011 at a Thanksgiving tournament.

BIG PICTURE

North Carolina: Pete Nance wasn’t able to contribute in the same way he did in Thursday’s opening round. Nance, who tied his career high with 28 points against Portland, didn’t score for the first 27 minutes and finished with seven points.

Iowa State: The Cyclones were playing a No. 1 team from outside their conference for the first time since 1999 when they faced Cincinnati in the championship game of the Big Island Invitational.

UP NEXT

Iowa State will face either No. 18 Alabama or No. 20 UConn in the championship game while the Tar Heels will face the loser for third place.

No. 8 Duke locks down late, holds off Xavier 71-64

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
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PORTLAND, Ore. – After a shaky offensive performance in the opening round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, Duke coach Jon Scheyer wanted to see Jeremy Roach get back to playing more instinctively, especially at the offensive end of the floor.

Roach responded with a season-high 21 points, Mark Mitchell added 16 and No. 8 Duke withstood Xavier’s second-half comeback for a 71-64 win on Friday.

The Blue Devils (6-1) advanced to the championship game thanks to the play of their standout guard and another strong defensive effort. Roach came one point shy of matching his career high, and the Blue Devils rebounded after an unexpectedly tight victory over Oregon State in the opening round of the event.

Roach was 3 of 14 shooting against Oregon State as the Blue Devils scored a season-low 54 points. He made 9 of 15 shots and had five assists against Xavier.

“There’s a lot that falls on your shoulders so you can end up overthinking it a little bit,” Scheyer said. “The thing that I love for him today is he just was him. And when he’s that way, he is to me the best guard in the country.”

The Musketeers (4-2) were held to two points over the final five minutes and missed their last four shot attempts. Souley Boum scored 23 points and Adam Kunkel had 13. Kunkel didn’t play the last 11 minutes after taking a hard fall committing a foul.

Xavier leading scorer Jack Nudge was 1 of 13 shooting and finished with five points.

“Jack played a great effort. He really did. He was ready for the game. He just had one of those nights where the ball didn’t go in the basket,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said.

At the same time, Miller was disappointed in what he called the “fracturing” he saw from his team.

“There were spurts and segments of the game where I thought we reflected our style, how we’re trying to play, whether it be defense and offense. But there were way too many segments of the game, if not most of the game, where we were at times in our own way,” Miller said.

Mitchell scored seven points in the opening minutes of the second half, including a pair of layups, and he hit a 3-pointer from the wing that gave Duke a 49-36 lead, its largest of the game.

That’s when Xavier’s comeback started. The Musketeers pulled within three points on several occasions, but Duke answered each time. Desmond Claude’s driving layup pulled Xavier within 63-60 with 5:51 left, but Ryan Young scored for Duke and Xavier didn’t make another basket.

Roach’s jumper with 2:40 left pushed Duke’s lead to 69-62.

“We like to play inside out but I mean, when guys are hitting shots it just opens up for everybody else,” Roach said. “Just try to continue to be consistent hitting shots and I think we’ll be fine.”

Kyle Filipowski had 12 points and was not Duke’s leading scorer for the first time in five games.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils’ dominance on the backboards finally came to an end. Duke had outrebounded each of its first six opponents by double figures, the longest such stretch in school history. But Xavier’s interior size limited Duke to a 33-32 advantage on the glass. The Blue Devils had 12 second-chance points.

Xavier: The Musketeers played an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the first time since beating Virginia Tech in last year’s NIT Season Tip-Off. Xavier dropped to 0-2 against ranked opponents this season, having lost to Indiana last week. The Musketeers will play another ranked foe in Sunday’s third-place game.

UP NEXT

Duke will face the Gonzaga-Purdue winner in the championship game on Sunday, while Xavier will play the loser.