CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett scored 26 points — the seventh time he’s had 20 this season — and No. 13 Xavier took control with an 18-point run Wednesday night, pulling away to a 96-70 victory over Kent State.
The Musketeers (8-1) built upon their impressive week. They beat No. 16 Baylor 76-63 last Tuesday at the Cintas Center. Four days later, they hosted crosstown rival Cincinnati, got ahead by 23 points and beat the then-No. 11 Bearcats 89-76.
They never trailed against Kent State (5-4), which kept it close at the outset with solid shooting but never recovered from the Musketeers’ run that began late in the first half. Danny Pippen led the defending Mid-American Conference champions with 15 points.
Bluiett hit two 3s as Xavier opened the game with a 14-2 spurt, making its first six shots. Kerem Kanter added a season-high 20 points along with eight rebounds.
Xavier has won 36 straight non-conference home games, the last loss coming against Wofford 56-55 on Dec. 22, 2012. The Musketeers are 234-35 all-time at the Cintas Center.
Kent State: Leading scorer Jaylin Walker (17.7 points per game) missed his third straight game with an ankle injury. Seven-foot center Adonis De La Rosa led the Golden Flashes the two previous games, averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. Xavier took him out of the game. He managed only two points and fouled out with 13:09 to go.
Xavier: The Musketeers came in shooting 54 percent from the field, second-best in the nation. Bluiett went 3 for 3 and Xavier made its first six shots overall while pulling out to a double-digit lead. The Musketeers shot 53 percent overall from the field.
The Golden Flashes make an hour drive north and play at Wright State on Saturday.
The Musketeers host Colorado on Saturday, the fourth of their six straight home games.
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