Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Big East Conference powers collide Saturday afternoon as the 19th-ranked Butler Bulldogs pay a visit to the Musketeers of Xavier for a conference clash at the Cintas Center.
Butler recently saw a five-game win streak come to an end against Villanova last Saturday, but the Bulldogs got back on the right track with a narrow 58-56 victory over Creighton on Monday. The Bulldogs, who own a 9-4 mark in Big East play, haven't had many issues on the road this season with a 5-3 record.
Xavier also got back in the win column following a defeat last Saturday. The Musketeers came back from a loss to St. John's with a two-point win over non- conference and cross-town rival Cincinnati, 59-57. Xavier finds itself at 7-7 against league foes entering the weekend, and owns a hefty 12-2 record at home as it prepares for the Bulldogs.
Xavier leads the overall series against Butler, 33-18, although the Bulldogs took the earlier meeting between the programs this season at Hinkle Fieldhouse, 88-76. Five Butler players scored in double figures in that 12- point win.
Devin Brooks tied the game up for Creighton on Monday against Butler at 56-56 with just under a minute and a half to play, and no one scored until Roosevelt Jones connected on a layup with three seconds remaining to lift the Bulldogs up over the Bluejays by the two-point margin. Jones was the hero in Butler's ninth conference win of the season, and finished with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. Kellen Dunham led the way with 19 points for Butler, while Kameron Woods tallied a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards. The visiting Bulldogs shot a healthy 49.1 percent from the floor in the game.
Dunham continues as one of the best scorers in the Big East this season. He ranks third in the conference with 16.8 ppg, connecting on 44.4 percent of his shots from the field. He's trailed on the team by Jones (13.0 ppg) and Andrew Chrabascz (11.1 ppg), making up the trio of Butler double-digit scorers. Jones is first on the team with a 3.8 apg mark, and ranks second in rebounding at 5.5 rpg. He checks in behind Woods on the glass, who averages 9.6 rpg, rankings second in the conference. As a unit, the Bulldogs are scoring 71.0 ppg, and are allowing 61.1 ppg to opponents.
Xavier's contest against Cincinnati during the week came down to the final seconds as well. The Musketeers trailed the Bearcats, 57-56, with 11 seconds to play, when freshman Trevon Bluiett netted a pair of free throws to give Xavier the one-point lead. Another foul shot by Myles Davis with one second left made it 59-57 in favor of the Musketeers, who walked away with the two- point victory over their city rivals. Dee Davis netted 16 points for Xavier, and added eight assists to pace the team in the win, while Myles Davis added 12 points in 34 minutes of action.
Bluiett and center Matt Stainbrook share the team lead in scoring, each netting 12.1 ppg, although Stainbrook's 61.8 shooting percentage ranks fourth in the Big East. Stainbrook also leads the team on the boards, grabbing 6.8 rpg. Myles Davis levels off the trio of Xavier double-digit scorers this season at 11.2 ppg, though Jalen Reynolds isn't far behind the mark at 9.5 ppg. Dee Davis ranks second in the league with 6.4 apg. Xavier's offense ranks first in the conference, netting 75.8 ppg on 48.2 percent shooting from the floor. However, on defense, the Musketeers allow 68.2 ppg.