1 – 2 – T
XU 25 – 38 – 63
EU 32 – 28 – 60
It hasn’t been pretty, but the Musketeers have found ways to win the past two games. It took overtime to beat Bowling Green on Saturday, and it took a second half rally to edge out the Purple Aces from Evansville at Cintas last night 63-60.
Sophomore Semaj Christon led the Musketeers with 19 points, 13 coming from the charity strip. (13-17) he also added a pair of assists and rebounds to the stat sheet.
Junior Matt Stainbrook added 10, while on his way to notching his second double-double of season, totaling 15 boards.
Junior Dee Davis chipped in 10, while Big East’s Rookie of the Week Myles Davis recorded 9 points, all beyond the arc.
Xavier fell down by as many as 13 points with less than 12 minutes to play, but the Musketeers slowly chipped away at the lead, a couple trey’s from Myles Davis and Dee Davis brought the Muskies back to tie it at 58. Stainbrook finally gave the Musketeers the lead with 58 seconds left with a pair of free-throws. Only to allow Evansville to tie it at 60 on basket with 40 seconds left. But Justin Martin, who once again struggled from the field (2-7) was able to regain the Musketeers lead with a layup off a nice pass from Stainbrook, who drew the double team. Christon added a free throw and Xavier made a final defensive stand when D.J. Balentine’s long 3-pointer with two defenders in front of him went off the back of the rim in the closing seconds.
Evansville controlled the paint last night, winning the rebound margin 38-35, and outscoring Xavier in the paint 34-24.
Xavier shot just 36% from the field, while the Purple Aces shot 46%.
On a positive side, the Musketeers, who have struggled taking care of the basketball over the past 2 weeks, limited their turnovers to 11.
Xavier’s next game will be the Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic vs Cincinnati at US Bank Arena on Saturday.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jr. – MATT STAINBROOK – 10 pts, 15 reb (5 off), 3 ast
Stats from: Goxavier.com
AP Photo/ Al Behrman