Nunge helps No. 20 Xavier rally past DePaul
CHICAGO (AP) — Jack Nunge scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half, and No. 20 Xavier rallied for a 68-67 victory over DePaul on Wednesday night.
Colby Jones had 13 points for the Musketeers (14-3, 4-2 Big East), who trailed by as many as 12. Paul Scruggs finished with eight points and seven assists.
David Jones scored 26 points for DePaul (10-7, 1-6), and Brandon Johnson had 13. Yor Anei grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Blue Demons played without Javon Freeman-Liberty, who was held out after he aggravated a groin injury during Thursday’s 96-92 victory over Seton Hall. The senior guard is averaging a team-high 21.1 points per game.
David Jones got a fortunate bounce on a 3-pointer and Nick Ongenda drove the baseline for a dunk to help DePaul take a 62-56 lead with 5:50 to go. But Xavier came right back.
Nunge made a 3-pointer and a slick layup to put the Musketeers in front at 67-65 with 2:02 remaining. He also made a tiebreaking foul shot with 1:15 to go.
A Xavier turnover provided one more chance for DePaul in the final seconds, but Jalen Terry missed a 3 as time expired.
With Freeman-Liberty watching from the bench, David Jones put on a show, especially early on. The sophomore forward had 20 points in the first half on 8-for-12 shooting, helping the Blue Demons to a 36-34 lead at the break.
Brandon Johnson's 3-pointer made it 50-40 DePaul with 14:13 left, but Xavier responded with a 9-0 run. Colby Jones connected from long range and Dwon Odom converted a layup to trim the Blue Demons' lead to 50-49 with 11:27 to go.
Xavier: It was ugly for the Musketeers for much of the night, but they turned up their defense to escape with the road win. The Blue Demons shot 38.7% from the field in the second half.
DePaul: Hoping to build on the win over Seton Hall, the Blue Demons came up just short. They wasted an 11-for-29 performance from 3-point range.
Xavier: At Marquette on Sunday afternoon.
DePaul: At Creighton on Saturday.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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