Xavier Defeats Butler In Round One of Big East Tournament 76-72

(Photo by Trent Grayson)


The 2024 Big East Tournament kicked off on Wednesday afternoon from Madison Square Garden where the Xavier Musketeers ended Thad Matta and the Butler Bulldog's run at the Big East Championship.


Xavier's guards once again shined when the lights were brightest, and they aren't ever brighter than NYC in March. Desmond Claude led all scorers with 26 points while Dayvion McKnight had 20 points and Quincy Olivari added 19 of his own along with 9 rebounds and six assists. 


Butler was led in scoring by Pierre Brooks II who scored 21 points shooting 8-13 from the field. Star guard Posh Alexander left early in the first half with an apparent ankle injury but toughed it out for the Bulldogs coming back in the second half. Alexander ended the game with 14 points 5 rebounds and five assists.


Xavier had a slim 32-31 lead going into the half, though they were 0-8 from three-point land and 14-34 from the field. They also had eleven first half turnovers, but dominated the paint with a +12 point advantage.


In the second half, their offense kicked into gear scoring 44 points shooting 52% from the floor, and 50% from deep with only three second-half turnovers while forcing Butler to commit 12. Dayvion McKnight led the way in the second half with 16 points. The Musketeers made 6 of their last 7 field goals leading to the win.


Now Xavier advances to the Quarterfinal round where they will face the UCONN Huskies on Thursday afternoon. The Huskies are not just #1 in the Big East, they're #1 in the country so the Musketeers will have their work cut out for them as they look to avoid a season sweep from the defending National Champions. Tip-Off will be at 12 PM EST on FS1.

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