Travis Taylor had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Jan. 2, 2013
WINSTON SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest's 3-point shooting was too much for the Xavier men's basketball team which dropped a 66-59 decision on the road to the Demon Deacons on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 9,862 at the Joel Coliseum.
Travis Taylor scored 18 points and posted 10 rebounds in the loss for the Musketeers who fall to 7-6 overall heading into their Atlantic 10 opener. Freshman Semaj Christon scored 12 second-half points and went 8-of-10 from the free-throw line to finish with 14.
The Demon Deacons were led by a trio of players including Travis McKie who finished with a game-high 19 points. Wake Forest improves to 7-5 with the victory.
This was the third meeting between Xavier and Wake Forest as part of Skip Prosser Classic. The classic was named after the Skip Prosser the former coach at both schools. Prosser was at Xavier from 1985-2011 and at Wake Forest from 2001 until he passed in 2007.
It was a competitive game throughout for both clubs but it wasn't until the final minutes that Wake Forest put the game out of reach for Xavier.
After taking a 49-48 lead with less than seven minutes left on a long jumper by Jeff Robinson the Musketeers went scoreless for nearly five minutes. During that time Wake Forest went on a 10-0 run and Xavier was unable to respond.
The Demon Deacons started off the half with an 8-3 run that prompted a Xavier timeout. The Musketeers' started off the second stanza slowly but recovered with a 10-2 run to pull within three, 44-41, with under 10 minutes to play.
Devin Thomas' layup followed Robinson's long shot sparked the eventual game-winning run for Wake Forest.
The Musketeers tried to battle back but after falling behind but could never cut the lead to under seven and Xavier lost its fourth-straight contest for the first time since 2000.
Both teams finished the game shooting 21-of-49 (42.9 percent) from the field. The difference in the contest came from three-point territory. Xavier finished 1-of-8 from behind the arc and Wake Forest hit 8-of-19 shots (42.1 percent) from long range.
Xavier finished with a dominating 32-18 advantage on points in the paint but allowed 29 points on 20 turnovers.
Xavier went into the break trailing 31-26 marking the first time they have trailed going into break since Dec. 9 against Kent State. The Musketeers opened up the game with a run that was responded quickly by the Demon Deacons.
Taylor was the big story of the first half for the Musketeers. The senior forward scored 16 points and corralled seven boards in the game's first 20 minutes. From the floor he shot 8-of-9 and had a nifty underneath layup.
As a team the Musketeers shot 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from the floor and were not able to convert on three 3-point attempts. Wake Forest meanwhile finished the period hitting 44.4 percent (12-of-27) of its shots and nailed 5-of-11 attempts from long range.
Xavier held an 18-14 advantage on the glass and an overwhelming 22-6 lead on points in the paint. Xavier started the game with an 8-0 run that was washed away by Wake's 13-2 run in the first portion of the half. Overall there were five lead changes and ties.
The Musketeers return home to open the conference schedule when it hosts Temple on Jan. 10. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Cintas Center.