Local Teams

National Basketball Association
Xavier 87, Butler 72
When: 8:30 PM ET, Friday, January 7, 2022
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Officials: # Pat Driscoll, # Tommy Morrissey, # Doug Shows
Attendance: 8557

Adam Kunkel shot 8-for-12 and had 25 points to lead four scorers in double figures as No. 22 Xavier took control of the game in the first half and went on to an 87-72 victory over Butler in Indianapolis on Friday night.

Paul Scruggs added 16 points and six assists, Jerome Hunter had 12 points and Zach Freemantle scored 10 for the Musketeers (12-2, 2-1 Big East).

Aaron Thompson scored 20 points and Bryce Golden added 19 for the Bulldogs (8-6, 1-2). Butler's leading scorer, Chuck Harris, suffered through a second consecutive subpar game, scoring six points, all in the final two minutes. He was held scoreless in a 71-56 home loss to No. 24 Seton Hall on Tuesday night.

Butler trailed by 11 at halftime and managed to cut its deficit to 46-40 on a basket by Jayden Taylor with 16:22 left in the game. However, Xavier scored the next five points, including a 3 from the right side by Kunkel, to make it 51-40.

Thompson's driving layup cut Butler's deficit to 62-55 with 8:47 left, but Kunkel, who was 4-for-8 from long distance, answered with a deep 3-pointer to put Xavier ahead 65-55.

Xavier, which hadn't played since a 71-58 loss at Villanova on Dec. 21, entered the game shooting 33.9 percent from 3-point range. But the Musketeers far exceeded that in the first half, going 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from long distance.

With the score tied at 9, Colby Jones hit a 3-pointer from the left side and then Scruggs stole an errant Thompson pass for a layup and a 14-9 Xavier lead with 13:16 to go in the first half.

Simas Lukosius' jumper in the paint cut Butler's deficit to 17-15 with 9:54 left, but Freemantle responded with a trey for a 20-15 advantage. Xavier's talented big entered the game 1-for-7 from beyond the arc.

Hunter had two treys during the subsequent 9-2 run that put Xavier ahead 29-17, including one that rolled around the rim and dropped in. The Musketeers increased their lead to 13 before settling for a 42-31 advantage at intermission.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Xavier   Butler
Adam Kunkel 25 Scoring Aaron Thompson 20
Paul Scruggs 6 Assists Aaron Thompson 4
Colby Jones 7 Rebounds Bryce Nze 5
Paul Scruggs 9 Free Throws Made Jair Bolden 2
Jerome Hunter 1 Steals Jair Bolden 1
Dwon Odom 2 Blocks Jair Bolden 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Xavier 87 55.1 10-22 23-27 13 27 4 3 6
Butler 72 50.0 5-21 11-13 10 21 2 3 6