Xavier Cruises To 64-50 Victory At Butler

XU's Semaj Christon had a game-high 15 points in the Musketeers' win at Butler.

XU's Semaj Christon had a game-high 15 points in the Musketeers' win at Butler.

Feb. 11, 2014

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INDIANAPOLIS - A dominant defensive effort spurred Xavier to a 64-50 win again Butler in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Musketeers' stingy defense led to a 22-2 run that spanned the two halves and pushed a four-point Xavier lead to 24.

The win improves Xavier to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in the BIG EAST, while Butler drops to 12-12, including 2-10 in conference action.

XU kept the defensive pressure up all night, holding BU to just 34 percent shooting (18-of-53). Meanwhile, Xavier connected on 53 percent (27-of-51) of its shots. The Musketeers also owned the glass, posting a 34-26 edge on the boards.

Butler's leading scorer Kellen Dunham was held scoreless until the 15-minute mark of the second half, when he cleaned up his own miss to end a 13-0 run by the Musketeers. Dunham entered the game averaging 17.4 ppg, but mustered just two points on 1-for-10 shooting in the contest.

Xavier staked a 26-16 lead in the opening frame, but six-straight points from Butler cut the margin to four, 26-22. That's when the Musketeers took over and went on their 22-2 run, which lasted from the 1:15 mark of the first half until 11:59 in the second.

Semaj Christon led XU with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Isaiah Philmore went for 10 points on five made field goals and both Dee Davis and Justin Martin added nine in the win. A native of Indianapolis, Davis put together an all-around great effort. He added nine assists in the contest and was the primary defender on Dunham. Matt Stainbrook tallied six points, but hauled in nine boards.

Davis dropped a trio of three's and Xavier shot 52 percent (13-of-25) to take a 31-22 lead into halftime. Butler was held to just 35 percent (8-of-23) shooting. The 22 points scored by Butler were the fewest allowed by XU dating back to the Crosstown Classic, when UC mustered just 20 points against XU in the opening frame.

Next up for Xavier is a trip to Milwaukee, Wis., for the second meeting of the BIG EAST Conference season with Marquette. Behind a career-high 28 points from Christon, the Musketeers secured an 86-79 at Cintas Center on Jan. 9.