Musketeers Shoot Down Owls 57-52

Brad Redford dropped crucial threes in the second half to help Xavier win.

Brad Redford dropped crucial threes in the second half to help Xavier win.

Jan. 10, 2013

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CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's basketball team snapped its four-game losing streak by grabbing the 57-52 win in the conference opener over the Temple Owls at Cintas Center Thursday night. Freshman Semaj Christon led the Musketeers with a game-high 16 points, two steals, and two assists.

The Musketeers improve to 8-6 for the season and 1-0 in conference play while the Owls slip to 10-4 and 0-1 in the conference. Xavier is now 14-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference openers, including seven of its last eight seasons. The Owls now hold a 13-11 all-time series record over the Musketeers.  

After quickly losing its lead in the second half, the Musketeers bounced back with a 19-2 run lasting 8:15 and regained the lead 48-37 with 8:45 left in the game. Two separate times during the Musketeers' run the Owls were 0-for-7 and 0-for-6 from the field.

During the run Brad Redford hit two of his signature three-pointers within a minute of each other to give the fans plenty to cheer about. Redford finished with nine points off of 3-of-5 shooting and 3-of-4 from long range.

With a minute remaining XU held a slim 55-52 lead, and was able to forced three missed three-pointers. Free throws by Travis Taylor sealed the win for the home crowd. Xavier has played in 11 games this season that have been decided by seven points or less, compiling a 6-5 record in those contests. The Musketeers were able to hold on to their lead and snap its longest losing streak since the 1981-82 season.  

Taylor finished with his second consecutive double-double and fourth in in the last five games with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Justin Martin scored in double figures for the first time since December 6 against Vanderbilt. Martin tallied 10 points and five boards.

XU finished the game shooting 40.8 percent from the field while holding TU to 33.9 percent. This was the second lowest shooting percentage the Owls have shot this season, only Kansas held them to a lower amount. Temple's shooting percentage was also the a season-low for an opponent this year. The Musketeers owned the glass tonight with 42 rebounds to the Owls' 31 boards.

Xavier led at half 29-26 with Christon leading the way for the Musketeers with 10 points from 5-of-9 shooting from the field.

Xavier jumped out to a 14-10 lead with 13:37 left in the first half. The Musketeers sparked a 10-3 run that lasted 1:52 and held the Owls 1-for-3 from the field and forced a turnover.

The Musketeers held their largest lead of the first half with 8:18 remaining in the half. Xavier led 20-12 after Isaiah Philmore muscled his way to the basket sinking the hard earned layup. The Owls were held scoreless for over six minutes.

The Musketeers crashed the boards hard in the first half, leading the Owls 18-13 in that statistical category. Taylor, who averages 7.4 boards a game, pulled in seven rebounds in the first half. XU was able to grab five offensive rebounds in its efforts.

Temple's Anthony Lee had a team-high 15 points and seven rebounds. Khalif Wyatt, the Owls' leading scorer was held to only five points from 2-of-11 shooting from the field and 0-of-5 from long range.

The Musketeers return to action Saturday, January 12 at 4 p.m. against Atlantic 10 opponent George Washington. Stay tuned to GoXavier.com for the latest news and updates of men's basketball.