Xavier Falls Short In Season Finale At Butler, 67-62
March 9, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Semaj Christon poured in 20 points to lead Xavier, but Butler went 9-of-10 at the free-throw line in the final 43 seconds to defeat the Musketeers, 67-62, at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. The loss drops Xavier to 17-13 overall, 9-7 in the Atlantic 10, while Butler improves to 24-7 and 11-5 in conference action.
With the game tied at 35, Butler scored seven-unanswered points in a 12-2 run to seemingly take control of the game. But Xavier responded and Christon capped a 15-2 spurt with back-to-back baskets to give the Musketeers a 52-49 advantage with 6:10 left on the clock.
After Rotnei Clark put Butler ahead, 56-54, with a driving lay-up, Christon hounded Clark on the next possession to force a five-second violation. Isaiah Philmore capitalized with a put-back on a Travis Taylor miss to even the score.
Reminiscent of a heavy-weight bout, the two teams traded points on both ends of the floor until Butler gained the lead for good on a pair of Kellen Dunham free throws with 43 seconds on the clock. Clark knocked down two more from the charity stripe and Andrew Smith added one, giving BU the five-point advantage with 11 ticks remaining.
Xavier pushed the ball up the floor to Christon, who was fouled with only four seconds running off the clock. Christon made both free throws to trim the deficit to three, 65-62. Taylor fouled Kameroon Woods on the inbounds pass and closed Xavier's chances by making both free throws to gave Butler the victory.
Christon shot an efficient 6-of-12 from the field and made 7-of-8 free throws. The freshman guard also dished out five assists. This is the second-straight game in which Christon scored 20 points, matching his effort against No. 16/15 Saint Louis on Wednesday night.
Philmore posted his second double-double of the season with a career-high-tying 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Philmore's other double-double was an 11-point, 10-rebound effort at Vanderbilt.
Xavier shot 41.5 percent (22-of-53) percent from the floor, including 40 percent (4-for-10) from long range. XU was steady at the free throw line, making 87.5 percent (14-of-16) of its attempts. Butler made 46.7 percent (21-of-45) of its shots and 37.5 percent (6-of-16) from 3-point territory. The Bulldogs knocked down 67.9 percent (19-of-28) from the charity stripe.
Butler led by a point at the break, 26-25. Xavier was paced by Christon, who tallied seven points and four assists in the opening 20 minutes. XU made 34.5 percent (10-of-29) of its shots to BU's 36 percent (9-of-25).
Xavier awaits the seeding and its opponent for the Atlantic 10 Championship held in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., from March 14-17. This is the first season in which the A-10 Championship will be held in Brooklyn, after previously being contested at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.