National Basketball Association
Xavier 68, Butler 55
When: 5:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 30, 2021
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Officials: # Wally Rutecki, # Earl Walton, # Greg Evans
Attendance: 2084

Paul Scruggs had 24 points as visiting Xavier, playing its first game in nearly three weeks, earned a third straight victory with a 68-55 win over Butler in a Big East contest on Saturday in Indianapolis.

Adam Kunkel scored 15 and Nate Johnson added 14 for the Musketeers (11-2, 4-2 Big East), who had not played since Jan 10, due to COVID-19 issues. Showing no signs of any real rust, Xavier shot 51 percent from the field, including 10-of-20 from 3-point range.

Bryce Nze had 16 points with 11 rebounds for Butler (5-9, 4-7), which shot just 34.3 percent while losing its second consecutive contest. East Tennessee State-transfer Bo Hodges scored 11 in his season debut for the Bulldogs, who trailed by 20 with 15:30 left in the game, but fought back to get within four before Xavier regained control.

Scruggs, who opened shooting 4-of-4 from the field, and Kunkel combined to score Xavier's first 13 points. A pair of 3-pointers from Johnson and another from C.J. Wilcher highlighted an 11-0 run that put Xavier ahead 29-14.

Xavier, which hit six of its first 10 3-pointers, shot 52 percent from the field while leading 37-25 through the first 20 minutes. Butler, meanwhile, missed six of its first seven 3-pointers and shot 32.3 percent in the first half.

Kunkel extended the Musketeers' advantage with a 3-pointer out of the gate in the second half and Zach Freemantle followed with a short jumper that padded their lead to 42-25.

Butler's shooting woes continued early in the second half, missing 10 of its first 11 shots out of the break. The Bulldogs trailed 47-27, but used a 13-0 run -- thanks to six points from Hodges -- to get back into the game.

Butler hit five of seven field goals to get within 54-50 with under seven minutes, but Scruggs scored five straight points to push Xavier's lead to nine. Butler went 5-of-25 from beyond the 3-point arc.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Xavier   Butler
Paul Scruggs 24 Scoring Bryce Nze 16
Paul Scruggs 3 Assists Chuck Harris 2
Zach Freemantle 10 Rebounds Bryce Nze 11
Paul Scruggs 4 Free Throws Made Bryce Golden 2
Zach Freemantle 2 Steals Chuck Harris 2
Jason Carter 1 Blocks Bo Hodges 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Xavier 68 51.0 10-20 6-12 12 34 3 2 13
Butler 55 34.3 5-25 4-7 8 31 2 5 6