NEW YORK — Jack Nunge, Adam Kunkel and Zach Freemantle each scored 18 points, and Xavier outlasted St. Bonaventure 84-77 in the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night.
Colby Jones added 16 points and Nate Johnson had 10 for the Musketeers (22-13).
Dominick Welch led St. Bonaventure (23-10) with 25 points. Jaren Holmes and Kyle Lofton each scored 15.
Xavier led by as many as 19 points in the first half but struggled to put away the Bonnies, who got within six points twice in the closing minutes at Madison Square Garden. The Musketeers made enough free throws that it never became a one-possession game. St. Bonaventure got within five points with 5 seconds left, but by then it was too late.
Xavier advances to face Texas A&M in the championship game. The Aggies beat Washington State 72-56 in the semifinals. Texas A&M is 27-12 with wins over Auburn, Arkansas and Alabama.
“We’re playing for one another,” Jones said. “I feel like we executed really well.”
Xavier made 34 of 64 attempts from the field (53.1%) and had a 38-28 advantage in rebounds. St. Bonaventure was 29 of 26 (46.8%) shooting.
The championship game is Thursday at 7 p.m.
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