Powell rallies Seton Hall over Xavier 80-70 for 7th straight
CINCINNATI (AP) — Myles Powell scored seven of his 25 points during Seton Hall’s closing run Wednesday night as the Pirates rallied for their seventh straight win, 80-70 over Xavier.
Powell’s 3-pointer started a 15-5 spurt that rallied the Pirates (11-3, 2-0 Big East) from a 10-point deficit in the second half. The Pirates were coming off a 76-74 victory over previously unbeaten St. John’s on Saturday, when they overcame a 14-point deficit and won it with Shavar Reynolds’ 3-pointer in the final second.
Xavier (9-6, 1-1) led for most of the game but couldn’t hold on. Paul Scruggs had 22 points, and Zach Hankins added a season-high 20.
Last season, the Musketeers prevailed in a high-scoring game at the Cintas Center, overcoming Powell’s 30 points for a 102-90 win .
Hankins had 18 points in the opening half, making his first eight shots and nine of 11 as the Pirates lost track of him near the basket. Hankins’ dunk on an alley-oop pass from Quentin Goodin highlighted a 10-point Xavier run late in the half that pushed the lead to 40-31.
The Pirates kept closer watch on Hankins in the second half, allowing Xavier some open shots beyond the arc. Back-to-back 3s by Ryan Welage and Scruggs pushed it to 56-46 with 12 minutes left.
The Musketeers then had five turnovers in less than 4 minutes that helped the Pirates rally. Romaro Gill’s dunk gave Seton Hall its first lead of the half, 65-63, with 4:57 left.
Seton Hall: The Pirates took another step toward the Top 25 — they got votes this week — by beating the defending Big East champions on their home court. Xavier is 252-38 all-time at the Cintas Center and had won its five previous Big East home openers.
Xavier: The Musketeers found an inside game behind Hankins, who is developing during his first season as a graduate transfer. They’ve been limited to perimeter shots in some games with no reliable scorer inside.
Seton Hall plays at DePaul on Sunday.
Xavier plays at No. 16 Marquette on Sunday.
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