No. 13 Xavier holds off Big East rival No. 19 UConn
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Souley Boum scored 21 points, Colby Jones added 20 and No. 13 Xavier went on the road and held off No. 19 Connecticut 82-79 Wednesday night.
The win was the 13th in 14 games for the Musketeers (17-4, 9-1 Big East) and it gave them a season sweep over the struggling Huskies (16-6, 5-6).
Jack Nunge had 12 points and Jerome Hunter added 11 for Xavier, which led by 17 in the first half and 39-24 at halftime.
Jordan Hawkins scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half for UConn, leading a comeback that fell just short.
Tristen Newton added 23 points for the Huskies, who won their first 14 games this season but have dropped six of eight since.
The Musketeers never trailed but had to withstand UConn runs that cut the lead to a single point four times in the second half.
A three-point play from Hawkins made it 78-77 with 2:40 left. But a second-chance layup from Nunge put the lead at 80-77 just over a minute later.
Newton was fouled with two seconds left by Desmond Claude, but his apparent attempt to miss his second free throw went into the basket.
Boum then hit two free throws at the other end, and Newton's final attempt from just beyond halfcourt was well short.
Xavier jumped out to a 9-0 lead as UConn missed its first nine shots.
A 3-pointer from Zach Freemantle gave the Musketeers their first double-digit lead at 20-9, and another from Jones pushed it to 35-18.
Xavier: The Musketeers lead the Big East, and the win over UConn was their ninth conference victory this season, eclipsing their total from last season.
UConn: The Huskies came in with a 17-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion dating to February 2021. They fell to 1-4 against the four teams in front of them in the Big East standings. The lone win came at Gampel against Creighton.
Xavier: The Musketeers continue their road trip with a visit to Creighton on Saturday.
UConn: Doesn't play again until next Tuesday, when the Huskies visit DePaul.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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