CINCINNATI: Trevon Bluiett scored 26 points and No. 13 Xavier took control with an 18-point run Wednesday night, pulling away for a 96-70 victory over Kent State.

“We had a couple of spurts where we played the way I know we’re capable of playing” Golden Flashes coach Rob Senderoff said. “But it’s a 40-minute game, and for us to beat a good team, [or] to beat anybody, you have to play for 40 minutes and have to compete the whole time and we just didn’t do that.”

The Musketeers (8-1) built upon their impressive week. They beat No. 16 Baylor 76-63 last Tuesday at the Cintas Center. Four days later, they hosted crosstown rival Cincinnati, got ahead by 23 points and beat the then-No. 11 Bearcats 89-76.

They never trailed against Kent State (5-4), which kept it close at the outset with solid shooting but never recovered from the Musketeers’ run that began late in the first half. Danny Pippen led the defending Mid-American Conference champions with a career-high 15 points.

“They started the second half sort of where they left off the first,” Senderoff said. “They’re a great team. They just did a better job than we did”

Bluiett hit two 3-pointers as Xavier opened the game with a 14-2 spurt, making its first six shots.

Xavier has won 36 consecutive nonconference home games, the last loss coming against Wofford 56-55 on Dec. 22, 2012.

Big picture

Kent State: Leading scorer Jaylin Walker (17.7 points per game) missed his third consecutive game with an ankle injury. Seven-foot center Adonis De La Rosa led the Golden Flashes the two previous games, averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. Xavier took him out of the game. He managed only two points and fouled out with 13:09 to go.

Xavier: The Musketeers came in shooting 54 percent from the field, second-best in the nation. Bluiett went 3-for-3 and Xavier made its first six shots overall while building a double-digit lead. The Musketeers shot 53 percent overall from the field.

Correspondent Stephen Means contributed to this report