Despite getting another high-scoring win, Xavier coach Chris Mack found some things he didn’t like.
Trevon Bluiett had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the 15th-ranked Musketeers to a 101-75 victory over Rider on Monday night in the teams’ first-ever meeting.
Tyrique Jones scored 19 points, J.P. Macura had 14, Paul Scruggs added 13 and Kaiser Gates 12 as Xavier (2-0), topped 100 points for the second straight game and won its 32nd consecutive nonconference game at home.
Although Rider lacked Xavier’s size, its players congested the lane and often forced outside shots that the Musketeers initially struggled to make. Xavier missed nine of its first 12 perimeter attempts, and also had eight of its 11 turnovers before halftime.
“Like a lot of teams this early in the year, we just have to shore up some things we have to improve in,” Mack said. “We had more turnovers in the first half. I think that was more my coaching than our players’ decisions, although they can always make better ones.”
Jordan Allen and Stevie Jordan had 14 points each for Rider (1-1), which trailed by 19 in the first half before pulling within five early in the second.
Gates, who capitalized on size mismatches for dunks, hit a 3-pointer to start a 17-2 run that pulled Xavier out of danger with 13:28 to play. Bluiett contributed eight points in the stretch.