CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyrique Jones had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Naji Marshall also scored 17 and No. 19 Xavier beat Jacksonville 76-57 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Paul Scruggs scored all 12 of his points in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help the Musketeers build a 21-point lead at the break. Bryce Moore’s 3 off an assist from Scruggs put Xavier ahead 41-22 late in the half.
Defense is expected to be a strength for the Musketeers, picked to finish third in the Big East Conference preseason coaches’ poll. Xavier forced 13 turnovers in the first half and 18 overall while limiting the Dolphins to 5-of-21 shooting from 3-point range.
Xavier freshman Zach Freemantle scored 11 points in his debut, including a two-handed dunk for his first points.
Aamahne Santos and Bryce Workman each had 15 points for Jacksonville.
Jacksonville hasn’t defeated a Top 25 opponent since beating No. 20 Florida 71-68 in overtime on Dec 20, 2010.
Xavier has won 30 straight season openers dating to a 97-90 loss to Southern Utah State on Dec. 2, 1989.
Jacksonville hosts Johnson (FL) on Friday.
Xavier hosts Siena on Friday.
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