Fresh off their 79-59 drubbing of Southern on Tuesday, Xavier could be peaking at the right time ahead of its Big East opener against host Georgetown on Friday night in Washington, D.C.
The Musketeers (8-3) have won four straight behind a balanced offense that features five players averaging double figures in scoring, including Souley Boum’s team-best 17.0 points per game.
Boum led Xavier against Southern with 17 points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, while Zach Freemantle (15 points), Jack Nunge (13) and Colby Jones (10) rounded out the Musketeers’ double-digit scorers.
“We have to continue to improve on offense,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said. “As we get into Big East play and there’s more familiarity, (and) tough competition every game, we’re going to have to earn our baskets.”
Xavier is averaging 84.5 points per game during their winning streak, which features an 84-74 victory over West Virginia on Dec. 3 and a hard-fought 80-77 triumph over local rival Cincinnati on Saturday.
The Musketeers’ winning ways have also been fueled by an improving defensive unit that has limited its opponents to under 50 percent shooting from the field in each of the four victories.
Georgetown (5-6) raced out to a 17-6 lead against longtime foe Syracuse in its most recent game Saturday, but the Orange found their rhythm and sent the sputtering Hoyas to their third loss in four games, 83-64.
“I just thought we got impatient at times, turned the ball over at times,” coach Patrick Ewing said. “Those turnovers led to 24 points off our turnovers and 14 fast-break points. … They were able to feed off our mistakes.”
Primo Spears’ 22 points paced the Hoyas, who pulled within 64-57 in the second half before Syracuse surged ahead. Georgetown has been outscored in the second half in seven of its 11 games this season.
Spears is one of nine players new to the Hoyas roster this season for the Hoyas, as they enter Big East play seeking their first regular-season conference win in 654 days. Georgetown finished 0-19 in the Big East last season after winning the conference tournament in 2021.
–Field Level Media