Xavier Drops BIG EAST Road Game At Providence, 81-72

Justin Martin scored a team-best 19 points against Providence.

Justin Martin scored a team-best 19 points against Providence.

Jan. 25, 2014

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Justin Martin had a big first half and Semaj Christonfollowed with a strong second half, but Xavier was unable to pull out the road victory in an 81-72 defeat at Providence. The loss drops Xavier to 15-5 overall and 5-2 in league play, both of which are identical marks with Providence.

Early in the second period Xavier closed within a point, but Providence went on a run to push its lead back to 12, 55-43, with 12 minutes left on the clock. The Musketeers battled back, cutting the deficit to four on three different occasions in the final four minutes. But, XU couldn't further close the gap and PC knocked down its free throws to extend the final margin to nine, 81-72.

Martin led the Musketeers with 19 points and seven rebounds. After just two points in the opening frame, Christon tallied 16 in the second to finish with 18 for the contest. Matt Stainbrookfinished one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling in nine rebounds.

Xavier shot 42 percent from the floor (28-of-67) and just 18 percent (3-of-17) from long range, while Providence connected on 44 percent (26-of-59) of its shots and 40 percent (8-of-20) from three. PC also went 21-of-30 from the free-throw line, compared to 13-of-16 for XU.

Martin poured in 13 first-half points, but the Musketeers found themselves in a four-point hole and trailed the Friars, 35-31, at the break. Xavier outshot Providence, 36 percent (13-of-36) to 29 percent (10-of-34), but PC went to the charity stripe 12 times (11-of-12) compared to just three times (3-of-3) for XU.

PC's Bryce Cotton scored a game-high 25 points and LaDontae Henton added a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Xavier has a week to prepare for a home contest at Cintas Center against Seton Hall. The contest, which tips-off at noon, will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.