Evans rallies No. 19 Cincinnati past No.24 Xavier

Cincinnati Bearcats guard Jacob Evans (1) grabs a rebound against the Xavier Musketeers in the first half at Fifth Third Arena. (Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Cincinnati, Ohio–Jacob Evans III tallied 21 points and No. 19 Cincinnati came from behind to defeat No.24 Xavier in front of 13,477 boisterous fans at Fifth Third Arena on Thursday night.

The Musketeers (14-6) had won the last three meetings between the two teams in their annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout.

Early on it appeared Xavier might run away with the game after Trevon Bluiett lit up the scoreboard in the first half.

The junior guard was electric the entire night, scoring a career-high 40 points on 12-of-15 shooting from the field.

Bluiett scored 26 points and connected on 6-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first half. His 3 with one second remaining gave the Musketeers a 44-36 lead at the half.

The Bearcats (18-2) earned their 11th consecutive win.

Troy Caupain scored 16 points. Jarron Cumberland recorded 15.  Gary Clark had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Washington added 12 points for Cincinnati.

The Bearcats dominated Xavier down low, outrebounding the Musketeers 42-18 and scoring 30 second-chance points.

Bluiett picked up his 3-point barrage right where he left off in the second half, sinking his first two shots.

Evans scored the first three points in a 15-2 run that put Cincinnati ahead for good with just over 10 minutes left.

Cincinnati guard Troy Caupain (10) reacts to the crowd during the Bearcats’ come from behind win on Thursday, January 26, 2017. (Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Cumberland’s three-point play made it 72-63 with six minutes to play.

Bluiett’s layup with 3:33 remaining pulled Xavier within one but Cincinnati hit a pair of three’s and four from the free throw line to push the lead back out to nine.

The Bearcats shot 50 percent from the floor and 35 percent from beyond the arc. They made just 18-of-37 from the free throw line.

The Musketeers shot 39 percent from the field, 54 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the charity stripe.

J.P. Macura was the only other Xavier play in double-figures with 13 points.

Bluiett tied a school record for 3s with nine.

Xavier takes on St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Cincinnati hosts South Florida on Sunday.

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