First Half Dooms Xavier as Saint Louis Prevails
Jan. 13, 2007
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Xavier could not overcome a 25.9 percent shooting effort in the first half and fell to host Saint Louis, 76-65, on Saturday evening at the Scottrade Center. Drew Lavender was one point shy of a career high and finished with 16 points. The loss drops the Musketeers to 12-5 on the season and 2-1 in Atlantic 10 action, while the Billikens improve to 12-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
Xavier came out cold from behind the arc after a blistering effort just two days prior at Fordham. XU shot over 71 percent from deep against the Rams but would start out 0-for-11 against the Billikens. SLU would be the team with the hot hand as the Billikens started 5-for-7 from long range and it carried over to a 12-point halftime advantage.
Saint Louis would continue to have the hot hand in the second half as the Billikens notched a 66.7 percentage (12-of-18) from the field in the second half including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from behind the arc. SLU's Luke Meyer would be the deciding factor as he ended with 12 points, all in the second half.
Saint Louis would open the game on a 10-0 run before a Derrick Brown free throw gave XU its first point of the contest at the 14:21 mark of the first half.
The Musketeers would not record a field goal until Justin Cage put in a layup with 11:19 remaining in the period to make the score 15-4 in favor of the home team. Xavier would bucket five of the next eight points to cut the lead to single digits at 18-9 but back to back treys by SLU's Dwayne Polk and Kevin Lisch would give the Billikens their largest lead of the half at 16 points, 27-11.
XU responded and cut the lead to 12 at half after two baskets by Brandon Cole including a dunk that cut the deficit to 10 at 27-17. A basket by the Billikens' Adam Knollmeyer would be the final bucket of the half with 1:49 remaining before the break.
On the half, XU started 0-of-12 from the floor, including 0-of-10 from deep, while Saint Louis was 8-of-11 and 1-of-2 from three-point land. Xavier shot 25.9 percent (7-of-27) in the half, which was the lowest total of the season since the Musketeers shot 28.6 percent (8-of-28) from the field at Creighton. Cage and Cole were the leading scorers for the Blue and White at the break as each had four points.
The second half proved to be much the same as Saint Louis would keep the double digit lead throughout. Xavier would trim the lead to single digits with under two minutes to play but it would be too late.
Drew Lavender would be the catalyst in the final stanza as the junior posted all 16 of his points in the second half. Lavender would single-handedly cut the deficit to nine after recording eight points in a span of 1:08, which included two threes, to put the score at 49-40 with 10:02 remaining.
Stanley Burrell would finally record his first points of the contest with 7:09 remaining in the game after a fade-away three fell through the net. Burrell would finish with only those three points and has not found St. Louis to be his city to play in as he had no points last season at the Scottrade Center.
After wrapping up the current road trip this evening, the Musketeers will return home for a showdown with A-10 frontrunner UMass on Thursday evening at Cintas Center. Tip time is set for 7:00 pm and the game will also be aired on ESPN.