Xavier has a lot to be thankful for during this holiday season. Mainly the fact that they can get on the plane and return to the states after a rough outing in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Musketeers went a brutal 0-3 over the weekend, after starting the season with 5 straight wins.
Xavier dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to No.23 Iowa on Thanksgiving day. X blew a 13-point lead with little over 10 minutes left, allowing Iowa to force OT, where Roy Devyn Marble took over and the Hawkeyes finished the extra frame with a 8-5 advantage and a 77-74 victory. Martin led Xavier in scoring with 15 pts, Christon added 14, Freshman Myles Davis chipped in 12. James Farr led X in rebounding with 10 off the glass. The couple glaring stats that hurt Xavier, 19 turnovers and 16 offensive rebounds by the Hawkeyes, 14 in the second half alone.
X tried to rebound with a rematch against Tennessee. A team they beat in Cincinnati just 17 days before. but this outcome was quite different. UT’s bigs dominated the paint from start to finish, and held Xavier star Semaj Christion to a season low 4 points, on just 2-7 shooting, ending a streak of 25 straight games in double figures, dating back to last season. The Vols took a 39-26 lead into halftime and busted out of the second half on a 8-0 run. X was never able to make a run to close the gap falling 64-49. The Musketeers looked quite drained from their hard fought overtime loss to Iowa the night before. Tenneesse had a sizable advantage rebounding the basketball, out rebounding Xavier 41-29. Matt Stainbrook was the only Musketeer in double figures with 10 points.
The Musketeers attempted to salvage the trip in the final game of the Tournament vs Andy Enfield’s USC Trojans. But everything seemingly got worse for X as the Holiday progressed. The Trojans dominated the first 30 minutes of the basketball game. Holding a 63-40 lead with 11 minutes left. Xavier then turned on a full court press that helped wake up it’s offense and helped spark a 29-11 run in less than four minutes but time ran out for the Musketeers, falling 5 points shy and dropping their 3rd game in as many days in the Bahamas. Christon led Xavier with 21 points and 7 assists. Myles Davis had 16 including 4 three pointers, Stainbrook added 14 and Senior Isaiah Philmore had his best game of the season with 10 points, 3 rebounds. Xavier again had problems protecting the basketball, coughing up the ball 19 times, including 7 from their star point guard (Christon).
Xavier returns home to the Cintas Center against Bowling Green on Saturday.
Stats from: ESPN.com
Photo: The Gazette