Xavier raced out to a 16-point halftime lead over archrival Cincinnati and cruised to a 65-55 win Saturday evening at the Cintas Center.
The Musketeers were led by Myles Davis' 17 points. He was 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range with three assists, three rebounds, a steal and no turnovers.
Freshman Edmond Sumner added 11 points, five assists and five turnovers, and had the play of the game midway through the second half when he rose up in transition and threw a thunderous one-handed dunk down over Cincinnati's best shot-blocker, Octavius Ellis.
The Musketeers were in control from the start.
They took a 2-0 lead on the first possession of the game by running a set play to Jalen Reynolds. Remy Abell hit a three on the following possession, and XU never looked back. The Musketeers' lead reached 10-1 before Cincinnati made its first field goal on an Ellis layup over five minutes into the first half.
Davis' buzzer-beating three on the final possession of the first half gave the Musketeers a 42-26 lead at intermission.
Xavier outscored Cincinnati 13-2 in points off turnovers in the first half, as the Bearcats turned it over eight times to the Musketeers' four.
In the second half, Cincinnati showed off its lockdown defense, holding XU to 23 points.
The Bearcats trimmed the deficit to five with 10:27 to play on a layup by Coreontae DeBerry that capped a 6-0 run, but that's as close as they got.
Cincinnati placed four players in double-figures, led by Ellis' 13 points. Gary Clark, who led the Bearcats with 14 points in last year's Shootout, was held scoreless on just two shot attempts in 29 minutes.
Xavier's leading scorer Trevon Bluiett was held to three points on 1-of-8 shooting.