On the eve of Ground Hog's Day, it must have seemed like the movie starring Bill Murray where he repeats the day over and over.
Murray was in the stands watching his son Luke, help guide the Xavier Musketeers to a 72-70 win over a determined Seton Hall Pirates team
The was one big difference that Xavier (16-6, 6-3) had to overcome. It was the first game without Super Sophomore Edmond Sumner. Chris Mack chose two freshman to start against Seton Hall (13-8, 3-6), guard Quinton Goodin and center Tyrique Jones.
"I'm proud of the way we battled," Xavier head coach Chris Mack said. "Our front court played great against on of the best front courts in the country. We had a freshman point guard. As the game wore on we found ourselves offensively."
J.P. Macura, who was also forced to change rolls without Sumner, scored 10 points. Kaiser Gates scored 13 and hit the boards for a team-high eight rebounds. Sean O'Mara chipped in 11 points and five rebounds to the cause.
Seton Hall was led by freshman Myles Powell, who lit up the scoreboard with six 3-point shots on the way to a game-high 26 points, matching his career-high against Iowa on November 17. Desi Rodriguez scored 16. Delgado scored 13 with as many rebounds to establish a game-high.
Xavier raced out to an early eight point lead but by halftime Seton Hall led by four at 32-28 when Powell buried a 3-pointer with five seconds left.
Seton Hall led most of the way in the second half. The game was tied at 37 and 52 with 9:30 left to play.
Xavier ran the lead to seven at 59-52 with 7:44 left on a pair of free throws by Bluiett.
Delgado hit a pair of free throws to tie the game with 3:35 left at 62.
Bluiet drove the lane for a layup to break the tie and Macura hit a free throw. Seton Hall answered with a layup by Powell. Macura hit a 3-pointer and Goodin blocked Powell's attempt to tie the game with a 3-pointer of his own.
Khadeen Carrington scored on a layup to tie the game at 70 with 11 seconds remaining.
Bluiett hit a mid range jumper with five seconds left. Carrington's last ditch shot rolled off the rim with two seconds left.
"I'm proud of the way we battled," Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. "We gave ourselves and opportunity. We just didn't quite get there, yet."
Willard noticed how Xavier missed Sumner.
"The biggest thing you notice is on the break," Willard said. "In the half court they are the same but Sumner is phenomenal on the break."