Xavier beats No. 19 Seton Hall 69-58 behind Davis’ 14 points

Haralds Karlis, Trevon Bluiett

CINCINNATI (AP) — Xavier wasn’t about to let this one slip away.

Dee Davis scored 14 points on Wednesday night, and Trevon Bluiett led a late run as Xavier pulled away to a 69-58 victory over No. 19 Seton Hall, the Musketeers’ second straight home win over a ranked team.

Xavier (11-4, 2-1 Big East) broke open a close game with a 20-6 run that gave the Musketeers the first double-digit lead of the game with 3 minutes to go. Bluiett had six points during the run, and Myles Davis had a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws.

The young Musketeers have struggled to hold leads. This time, they got one and built on it.

“It feels amazing,” Myles Davis said. “The best part is we were the tougher team at the end.”

The Pirates (12-3, 2-1) couldn’t extend their run of big wins. They knocked off St. John’s and Villanova last week to gain their first ranking in three years and their highest in 14 years.

“This league is too good, too balanced,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “In this league, you’re just not going to win on the road very easily.”

It was Xavier’s second big home win over a ranked team. The Musketeers beat No. 25 Georgetown 70-53 on New Year’s Eve. In-between, they lost at DePaul.

Angel Delgado led the Pirates with 12 points. Sterling Gibbs was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Xavier led most of a game characterized by poor outside shooting.

Haralds Karlis had a pair of 3s during a 10-2 run that gave Seton Hall its only lead of the first half. Gibbs’ flagrant foul on Myles Davis sparked Xavier’s 13-2 run capped by Bluiett’s three-point play and fast-break layup that drew a goaltending call. The Musketeers led 33-28 at halftime.

Gibbs, the Pirates’ leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, missed all six of his shots in the half. His pull-up jumper ended his personal drought and gave Seton Hall its second lead of the game, 41-39.

There were 11 ties and eight lead changes, with neither team ahead by more than seven, before Xavier went on its pivotal run for a 65-55 lead.

“We sparked that run with defense,” Bluiett said. “We pressured them real hard. We were tuned into the scouting report. In the last 10 or 15 minutes, we played our hearts out because we really needed this game.”

Seton Hall forward Brandon Mobley fouled out with 6:01 to go. He had nine points and five rebounds.

ABELL DEFENSE

Remy Abell, a transfer from Indiana, covered Gibbs most of the game and allowed only a few open shots. It was only the second time this season that Gibbs failed to score in double digits.

“Coming into the game, Sterling Gibbs in my opinion had played his way into being the best guard in our conference,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “He’s won big games, he’s hit big shots. Remy takes personal challenges very personally.”

LOW POINT

The 58 points matched Seton Hall’s season low. The Pirates beat George Washington 58-54.

TIP-INS

Seton Hall: The Pirates lead the league in 3-point defense. Xavier leads the league in 3-point shooting, making 39.2 percent. The Pirates got the better of it, as Xavier missed its first seven shots from beyond the arc and finished 3 of 15.

Xavier: Dee Davis had a game-high 10 points, two assists and a steal in the first half.

UP NEXT

Seton Hall heads to Creighton for a game on Saturday. The Pirates have lost the last two in the series.

Xavier plays at Butler on Saturday. The Musketeers lead the series 33-17 and swept the Bulldogs last season, including a 64-50 win in Indianapolis.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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