No. 1 Xavier takes down No. 16 Texas Southern

Elias Hubbard
March 17, 2018

Just 48 hours after securing the first NCAA Tournament win in program history, the Texas Southern University men's basketball team will try to again make history, as the No. 16 seed Tigers face No. 1 seed Xavier at 6:20 p.m. Friday at Bridgestone Arena.

TSU held its own early, as it responded to an early 10-0 Xavier run by scoring 16 straight points to take a 20-13 lead, but the Musketeers answered with a 16-0 spurt of their own, part of a 33-8 extended that helped them to a 20-point lead. The victor of the first round matchup moves on to face the victor of Missouri and Florida State. The Musketeers lost to Gonzaga in the Elite Eight a year ago, and the top three scorers from that team along with four starters are back for this trip.

TSU throttled North Carolina Central, 64-46, in a play-in game Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio.

The Tigers turned around an 0-13 start with 15 wins in their next 21 games to win their second consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament championship with an 84-69 triumph over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Xavier shot 54.7 percent for the game while holding Texas Southern to 40-percent shooting.

The Tigers battled the rest of the night, but could never pull closer than 16 points, while Xavier led by as many as 24. Junior Derrick Bruce added 11 points in the first half.

BLUIETT'S IMPORTANCE: Xavier has been campaigning for player of the year attention for the senior guard, and the best reason why might be Musketeers' 20-1 record when Bluiett is the leading scorer.

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