Bluiett scores 37, No. 4 Xavier beats Seton Hall 102-90


Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett (5) moves the ball against Seton Hall forward Desi Rodriguez (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett (5) moves the ball against Seton Hall forward Desi Rodriguez (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Xavier forward Sean O'Mara (54) drives to the basket against Seton Hall center Angel Delgado, rear, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Xavier forward Sean O'Mara (54) dunks over Seton Hall's Angel Delgado (31) and Khadeen Carrington (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


CINCINNATI (AP) — Trevon Bluiett followed his worst shooting performance of the season with a 37-point effort, and No. 4 Xavier held on for a 102-90 victory over Seton Hall on Wednesday night, securing the Musketeers’ hold on first place in the Big East.

Xavier (24-3, 12-2) has won nine in a row heading into its showdown with No. 3 Villanova on Saturday at the Cintas Center. Xavier leads the league by a game and a half after the Wildcats’ 76-71 loss at Providence earlier Wednesday.

Bluiett missed all of his four shots from beyond the arc and finished with a season-low six points during a win at Creighton on Saturday. He had his touch from the first shot on Wednesday — a nothing-but-net 3 — and finished 8 of 11 beyond the arc, one shy of the school record for 3-pointers made in a game. His 37 points were three shy of his career high.

Naji Marshall added a career-high 20 points. Xavier went 14 of 29 from beyond the arc.

Seton Hall (17-9, 6-7) has dropped a season-high four in a row. Myles Powell scored a career-high 30 points, including 24 in the second half as the Pirates cut Xavier’s 25-point lead to 87-81 with 3:39 left before Xavier finished it out at the free throw line.

It was familiar for the Pirates, who overcame a 17-point deficit on Saturday before losing to Georgetown 83-80, with Powell scoring 25 points.

Bluiett came out determined to set the tone early, hitting four 3s during a 25-11 opening run as he personally outscoring the Pirates 12-11. The Musketeers led by as many as 22 in the half.

BIG PICTURE

Seton Hall: The Pirates are 3-3 against ranked teams, with wins over Texas Tech, Louisville and Creighton and losses to Villanova and Xavier twice.

Xavier: The win kept Xavier’s momentum going into the showdown with Villanova. The Musketeers got a No. 1 seed in the preliminary NCAA Tournament rankings on Sunday, then received five first-place votes while moving up to No. 4 in the AP poll for the first time in school history a day later.

UP NEXT

Seton Hall: Hosts DePaul on Sunday. The Pirates won at DePaul 86-70 on Jan. 28, one of their two road wins in Big East play along with a victory at Butler.

Xavier: Villanova has won the last three in the series by lopsided margins, including an 89-65 victory on Jan. 10 — Xavier’s last loss.

___

More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett (5) moves the ball against Seton Hall forward Desi Rodriguez (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/02/web1_119873268-6783531246ad41c1b1d59ecff2e978bf.jpgXavier guard Trevon Bluiett (5) moves the ball against Seton Hall forward Desi Rodriguez (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Xavier forward Sean O’Mara (54) drives to the basket against Seton Hall center Angel Delgado, rear, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/02/web1_119873268-52536843cea744a4b38c0662faa34b6f.jpgXavier forward Sean O’Mara (54) drives to the basket against Seton Hall center Angel Delgado, rear, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Xavier forward Sean O’Mara (54) dunks over Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado (31) and Khadeen Carrington (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/02/web1_119873268-da8f7c67b671400793e2c647f3db8dd5.jpgXavier forward Sean O’Mara (54) dunks over Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado (31) and Khadeen Carrington (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

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