What we learned in Xavier’s win over Butler

The Xavier bench celebrates late in the second half of the Musketeers' 68-55 victory over Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Saturday. It was the Musketeers' first game following a 20-day layoff.

When Saturday's game got a little tight – a little too close to be comfortable – Paul Scruggs hopped in and out of a phone booth and saved the day for the Musketeers at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse in a 68-55 win. 

Scruggs was sensational. His effort down the stretch enlivened Xavier, a team that's won three straight and as of Sunday morning was listed at No. 33 in the NCAA's NET rankings. 

But, Scruggs' performance didn't reveal anything we didn't already know, so let's take a look at some areas that made a difference in Saturday's result.

Paul Scruggs wills Xavier to win over Butler after a 20-day layoff ]

The evolution of Xavier senior Paul Scruggs: 'The dude just wants to win' ]

Kunkel shines in first start

Freshman Colby Jones is in COVID-19 protocol and has not been cleared to play yet, which left an opening in the starting lineup at Butler. 

Xavier head coach Travis Steele gave Belmont transfer Adam Kunkel his first career start, and it proved to be a decision that paid off. 

Guard Adam Kunkel, here guarding Butler's Chuck Harris, scored 15 points with three 3-pointers, and also blocked a shot by Harris with 2:45 left in the game, preserving a 59-52 lead.

Not only did Kunkel score 15 points with three 3-pointers, but he also blocked a shot at the rim by Butler's Chuck Harris with 2:45 left in the game, preserving a 59-52 lead. 

Steele was asked after the game about the decision to start Kunkel. 

"A lot of people make a big deal out of starting and kids make a big deal out of it as well, but for me, we have more than five starters," said Steele. "We've got a lot of good players.

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