Xavier Shakes Off Duquesne, Earns 73-65 A-10 Victory

Isaiah Philmore poured a career-high 16 points in the Musketeer victory.

Isaiah Philmore poured a career-high 16 points in the Musketeer victory.

Feb. 9, 2013

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PITTSBURGH - Junior Isaiah Philmore's career-night and a big second-half run lifted the Xavier men's basketball to a 73-65 road victory over Duquesne in front of a crowd of 6,511 at the CONSOL Energy Center on Saturday night.

The Musketeers (13-9, 6-3 Atlantic 10) received 16 points from Philmore giving him a new-career high at Xavier. Senior Travis Taylor posted 13 points and 12 rebounds to earn his seventh double-double of the season and sophomore Justin Martin remerged offensively with 15 points.

Xavier had a slow start to the second half after taking a seven-point lead into the break. Freshman Semaj Christon, who shared a team-high 16 points and had a career-high seven rebounds, and Philmore closed out the game and were vital in the charge that put the Musketeers into the win column.

Duquesne opened up the second half with a tremendous 21-4 surge that gave the Dukes their first lead since midway in the first half. After tying the game at 35-all the Dukes went on a 12-2 run and built a 47-37 lead with 12:54 remaining.

Robinson stopped Duquesne's flow with his second one-hand put-back dunk and started Xavier's response, which included a huge run that put the Musketeers ahead for good.

Philmore had the biggest impact during Xavier's push scoring seven points including layup and ensuing foul shot that gave the Musketeers a 51-50 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest.

Consecutive baskets in the lane from Taylor and Christon helped even the scoring in the half and made it a 58-51 contest with 5:37 remaining. Duquesne attempted a late comeback and pulled within five in the final 90 seconds of the game.

Xavier went to the line and iced the game making four-straight free throws and time expired.

The Musketeers finished the game shooting 43.6 percent (24-of-55) overall and 25 percent (3-of-12) from behind the arc. They had points in the paint (32-18) and rebounding (43-40) advantages over the Dukes.

For the night Duquesne shot 33.8 percent (25-of-65) and converted on 27.3 percent (9-of-33) shots from long range. Quevyn Winters had a game-high 19 points for the Dukes who fall to 7-16 overall and were denied of their first A-10 victory (0-9).

The Musketeers return home to the friendly confines of Cintas Center for a midweek showdown with Fordham (6-18, 2-9 A-10). The game will be aired live on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel with tip set for 7 p.m.

Xavier had a 33-26 lead at halftime with Martin pacing the way for the Musketeers. The sophomore guard had 11 points making it the first time since Xavier's game against Vanderbilt that Martin reached double digits in scoring in the first half. He also contributed five rebounds in the opening half.

Duquesne broke a 7-7 game with a quick run that pushed them out a seven-point lead. Christon broke the run with a floater off the backboard and sparked a 12-0 run by the Musketeers. Xavier pushed its lead to 11 at one point and never let the Dukes lead again in the half.

Christon had six points in the first half and was one of five XU players with five or more points. Taylor had six points as well to go with eight rebounds and Davis and Philmore each had five points.

Xavier closed out the half shooting 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from the floor and had 10 assists on the made baskets. From long-range the Musketeers had 3-pointers from Martin, Davis and Christon.

Duquesne attempted nearly half of its first-half shots from behind the arc and went just 30.3 percent (10-of-33) from the floor. From outside the Dukes hit 25 percent (4-of-16) and went almost minutes without a field goal.

The Musketeers held the rebounding edge (21-19) and had a 10-0 advantage on fast-break points.