Christon's 20 Points Lead Xavier By Butler, 79-68
Jan. 4, 2014
CINCINNATI- Xavier's defense came up big in the second-half, helping XU erase a seven-point deficit and defeat Butler, 79-68, before a sellout crowd of 10,250 at Cintas Center on Saturday. The Musketeers won their seventh-straight game, raising their record to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the BIG EAST. The Bulldogs fell to 10-4 overall and 0-2 in conference.
Sophomore Semaj Christon led the Musketeers with 20 points, eight assists and no turnovers. Over the last three games, Christon has combined for 20 assists and zero turnovers. Junior Matt Stainbrook, the reigning BIG EAST player of the week, had a big second half to finish with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Junior Justin Martin, an Indianapolis native, finished with double-digits for the second game in a row with 13 points and seven rebounds. Fellow junior Dee Daviswas the final player for Xavier to reach double figures with 12 points, while coming up big on the defensive end on Butler star Kellen Dunham, holding him to one field goal in the second half.
Xavier held Butler to 26 points and 31.0 percent shooting in the second half after the Bulldogs scored 42 points on 60.9 percent first-half shooting. Butler led 42-37 at the break. The second half started off with a 9-2 run in favor of Xavier that put the Musketeers in the lead, 46-44. With the score tied at 64 with 5:56 left on the clock, Christon found a cutting Davis for a layup that put XU ahead for good.
Stifling defense from the Musketeers combined with a perfect 6-for-6 showing at the charity stripe helped Xavier close out the game, 79-68. Butler mustered just four points on a Khyle Marshall free throw and Alex Barlow trey over the final six minutes.
Both teams exchanged baskets throughout the first half with neither team taking a lead larger than five. Elijah Brown hit a 3-pointer with 12:08 left to play in the first half to put Butler up 21-16. Xavier rallied back with a 6-0 run and took its first lead of the half when Stainbrook put home a layup underneath the basket with 9:30 left in the half. The last 46 seconds of the half turned into a shootout with jumpers from Elijah Brown and Christon and a Kameron Woods dunk with one second left to put Butler up going into halftime, 42-37.
Marshall recorded a team-high 14 points for the Bulldogs. Kellen Dunham, ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring, was held to just 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting and three rebounds. Kameron Woods finished with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Xavier next takes the court when Marquette comes into town January 9th at 9:00 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Visit GoXavier.com for the latest news and updates on men's basketball.