No. 5 Xavier beats Butler 86-79 for 10th straight victory

CINCINNATI — J.P. Macura scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half to get Xavier rolling and Trevon Bluiett had 21 points as the fifth-ranked Musketeers won their 10th in a row, beating Butler 86-79 on Tuesday night.

The Musketeers (15-1, 3-0 Big East) matched their highest ranking in school history on Monday. A day later, they matched the best start in school history by getting up 14 points and holding on against the team that's pulled off the biggest upset so far in the conference.

Butler (12-4, 2-1) was coming off 101-93 win over then-No. 1 Villanova on Saturday. The Bulldogs were hoping to take that momentum with them for the 100-mile trip to Xavier. Instead, they couldn't hit enough outside shots to beat a second straight Top 5 team.





The Bulldogs were only 4 of 14 from beyond the arc in the first half, with Xavier leading 44-36. Kaiser Gates had a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 66-52 midway through the second half.

Kamar Baldwin's 3-pointer cut it to 79-74 with 1:09 left, but Xavier closed it out at the free-throw line. Baldwin had 28 points, and Kelan Martin added 25.

BIG PICTURE

Butler: The Bulldogs buried Villanova with a flurry of 3s, including a school-record 10 straight. They were only 4 of 14 in the first half against Xavier's man-to-man and 1-3-1 zone defense and finished 7 of 27 beyond the arc.

Xavier: Bluiett was out of the starting lineup for the last game against DePaul because he showed up late for a shoot-around, and he went only 4 of 13 from the field. He was 6 of 15 on Tuesday, scoring eight points on free throws.

UP NEXT

The Bulldogs host No. 21 Seton Hall on Saturday.

The Musketeers are at Providence on Saturday.

Davis leads W Michigan over Akron 87-75 in MAC opener

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Josh Davis scored 26 points on 10-of-10 shooting, Thomas Wilder added 15 points with eight rebounds and seven assists, and Western Michigan beat Akron 87-75 on Tuesday night in a Mid-American Conference opener to end a six-game skid against the Zips.

Bryce Moore scored 13 points, Reggie Jones added 12 and Drake LaMont scored 11 for the Broncos (9-5), who outrebounded Akron 37-27 and scored 19 points off of 11 Zips turnovers.

Akron led by as many as five points early, but Brandon Johnson's jumper put the Broncos up for good, 16-15, and they pulled away with a 10-2 run capped by Seth Dugan's tip-in for a 33-23 lead. Davis' dunk opened a 12-2 run capped by Wilder's 3 at the buzzer and the Broncos led 47-31 at halftime.

Akron trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half, but closed to 78-69 after Jimond Ivey hit four straight free throws. Davis made a free throw, Moore hit a 3 and the Broncos led by double digits the rest of the way.

Malcolm Duvivier scored 21 points with four 3s, Ivey had 18 points and seven assists, and Daniel Utomi scored 11 for the Zips (7-6), who have yet to win on the road this season.

Brown's double-double helps Miami (Ohio) beat Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN — Freshman Dalonte Brown had his second double-double and Darrian Ringo scored 11 points with seven assists and four steals to help Miami (Ohio) beat Bowling Green 77-72 on Tuesday night in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.

Brown finished with 16 points and career highs of 17 rebounds and three blocks. Rod Mills Jr. added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-3 3-pointers, and Nike Sibande scored 10 for Miami (8-6).

Brown scored the first seven points in a 10-0 spurt that spanned halftime and made it 47-34 with 17 minutes left after Sibande hit a 3. Daeqwon Plowden's dunk pulled Bowling Green (9-5) within two points about 10 minutes later, but the RedHawks answered with a 10-3 run that made it 69-60 with three minutes to go and held on from there. Ringo made two free throws and a layup to give Miami a seven-point lead, then had a steal and an assist on a dunk by Brown before hitting Bam Bowman for a layup to cap the spurt.

Damajeo Wiggins had 18 points and Antwon Lillard scored 15, on combined 13-of-21 shooting, for Bowling Green. The rest of the Falcons made 14 of 41 (31.1 percent) from the field.

N. Illinois uses 16-3 run to down Kent St. 72-59

DEKALB, Ill. — Levi Bradley scored 25 points and a tied a career-high with 14 rebounds and Northern Illinois pulled away in the second half to beat Kent State 75-61 on Tuesday night in a Mid-American Conference opener.

Bradley also set a career best with 14-of-14 shooting from the free throw line. Northern Illinois led 33-32 at halftime before Desmond Ridenour's layup put the Golden Flashes up 51-48 with 11 minutes left.

Dante Thorpe responded with a jumper and a layup to ignite Northern Illinois (8-6) on a 16-3 run, and a pair of free throws from Bradley made it 64-54 with just less than five minutes to play.

After Kevin Zabo's 3-point play, Eugene German scored nine of the Huskies's final 13 points to preserve the win. German finished with 20 points and seven rebounds and Thorpe finished with 17 on 8-of-12 shooting.

Jaylin Walker led Kent State (6-8) with 18 points but was 5 of 17 from the field including 1 of 10 from 3-point distance. Zabo scored 17.

DiLeo leads Central Michigan to 75-50 win over Ohio

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — David DiLeo scored 22 points as Central Michigan opened Mid-America Conference play with a 75-50 win over Ohio for its fourth straight win on Tuesday night.

The Chippewas (12-2) improved to 8-0 at home and knocked off Ohio for the fifth consecutive time.

DiLeo hit 6 of 12 from distance to finish with 7-of-13 shooting. Cecil Williams added 15 points while grabbing nine rebounds, dishing out six assists with two steals and one blocked shot. Shawn Roundtree contributed 13 points and Luke Meyer chipped in 12 for Central Michigan, which has won 11 of its last 12 games.

The Chippewas took an early lead, were up 37-31 at the half, pushed the advantage to 71-43 at the 8:22 mark and coasted home.

Central Michigan made 10 of 28 from distance while limiting Ohio to 3-of-20 shooting from long range.

Mike Laster led the Bobcats (7-6) with 19 points and Teyvion Kirk added 13.

Massinburg helps Buffalo pull away late, beat Toledo 104-94

BUFFALO, N.Y. — CJ Massinburg scored 10 of his 27 points in the final 5:24 to help Buffalo pull away and beat Toledo 104-94 on Tuesday night in a Mid-American Conference opener.

Tre'Shaun Fletcher made three free throws to pull Toledo (8-6) to 84-81. Massinburg answered with a jumper and layup, and was 6-of-6 shooting from the line as the Bulls closed on a 20-13 surge.

Massinburg was 7 of 13 from the field and made all 10 free-throw attempts. Nick Perkins had 24 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season for Buffalo (9-5), which shot 54 percent from the floor and 87 percent on 27-of-31 shooting from the line. Wes Clark added 25 points and Davonta Jordan had 15.

Fletcher scored 27 points to lead Toledo (8-6). Jaelan Sanford chipped in 18 points and Willie Jackson had 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Rockets shot 54 percent from the field, but missed 12 free throws.