On a day in which No. 4 Duke and No. 7 Kansas lost to unranked opponents, No. 6 Xavier needed a miraculous four-point play from senior Trevon Bluiett to force overtime against Georgetown, where the Musketeers pulled out a 96-91 win and avoided sharing the same unwelcome fate as the Blue Devils and Jayhawks.
Here's how Xavier erased a four-point deficit in the final 25 seconds of the game and won in overtime.
After Georgetown's Jamorko Pickett made a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left in regulation to extend the Hoyas' lead to 86-82, Xavier ran a beautiful set to get leading scorer Trevon Bluiett an open look from three.
Senior J.P. Macura had the ball beyond the 3-point line on the left wing, while Bluiett stood on the left block. The Musketeers worked the ball around the perimeter to forward Kaiser Gates to center Tyrique Jones to point guard Quentin Goodin. Gates set a down screen for Bluiett, then Bluiett hesitated, faked to his right and ran to his left, where Jones was waiting with a second screen.
Meanwhile, Goodin took the ball from the right wing and drove to the hoop but stopped shy of the basket, then turned and fired a pass to a wide-open Bluiett. Georgetown's Jagan Mosely tried to close out on Bluiett around the screen set by Jones, but Mosely crashed into Xavier's senior All-America candidate as his 3-pointer swished through the net, setting up the four-point play.
Bluiett, who entered the game as an 81.3 percent free throw shooter, sank the free throw to tie the game at 86.
Even though Xavier erased the deficit in one miraculous play, the game wasn't over. There were still 24.3 seconds left and Georgetown had the ball. The Musketeers clamped down on defense without fouling and forced Jahvon Blair into a deep 3-pointer that he airballed, giving Xavier the ball back under Georgetown's basket with 0.9 seconds left. The Musketeers ran another play for Bluiett but his final heave was no good, forcing overtime.
Success at the free throw line
Xavier didn't make a single field goal in overtime but still managed to score 10 points in the extra period and won by five. The Musketeers drew six fouls in overtime, including Georgetown center Jessie Govan's (23 points, nine rebounds) fifth and final foul 1:13 into the overtime period. Xavier, which is one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country with a 76.7 percent conversion rate, was 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in overtime.
We out here. pic.twitter.com/yW4k2mWLlb— Xavier Gameday (@XavierGameday) February 4, 2018
Xavier carried its stifling defensive play from its final defensive possession of regulation into overtime, where the Musketeers held Georgetown to 1-for-7 shooting with two turnovers. The Hoyas' only basket in overtime was a deep 3-pointer from Marcus Derrickson late in the shot clock.
With the win, Xavier improved to 21-3 (9-2 Big East) as it chases Villanova (8-1 Big East) in the conference standings.