CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored 21 of his 25 points during Xavier’s blistering first half on Friday night, and the 17th-ranked Musketeers dominated from the opening tip-off for a 101-49 victory over Morehead State.
The Musketeers (1-0) return the core of their Elite Eight team and put their depth on display. They scored 62 points in the first half, their most since they had 68 during the opening half of a 117-75 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in the 2012 season opener.
Xavier’s senior guard tandem of Bluiett and J.P. Macura had their way. Macura scored Xavier’s first eight points on a layup, a 3-pointer and a three-point play, sparking an 18-1 run. He finished with 18 points.
The Musketeers pulled out to a 34-5 lead and were ahead 62-24 at halftime, shooting 76 percent from the field. They shot 69 percent overall.
Jordan Walker scored 13 points for Morehead State (0-1), which returns only four players from last season, when Preston Spradlin took over as interim coach. Spradlin got the full-time job after the Eagles went 12-9 the rest of the way.
Morehead State: The Eagles hoped to avoid a slow start on the road, but quickly came apart against Xavier’s pesky man-to-man defense. They missed 12 of their first 13 shots and had five turnovers while Xavier raced ahead by 28 points.
Xavier: Bluiett returned for his senior season after trying out for the NBA. Despite being limited in practice by a sore shoulder lately, he found his touch right away, making seven of his nine shots in the first half, including five of six from beyond the arc.
Morehead State plays at Lipscomb on Sunday, followed by its home opener against Marshall on Thursday.
Xavier hosts Rider on Monday before playing at Wisconsin on Thursday as part of the annual Big East-Big Ten challenge.