Musketeers Hold Off Tennessee, 67-63
Nov. 12, 2013
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's basketball team edged out Tennessee 67-63 Tuesday night at Cintas Center. Three Musketeers scored in double figures to beat the Volunteers. Xavier was able to get revenge on Tennessee from last year, when the team lost a close 51-47 game in Knoxville. The Musketeers now have 11 wins against the Southeastern Conference since 2007.
The game opened up with senior forward Erik Stenger blocking a Tennessee shot and sophomore guard Semaj Christon getting a quick layup. Xavier's defense started off strong at the start of the game, holding the Volunteers without a field goal until four minutes and 30 seconds into the game. That defensive stand led to a 14-4 run for the Musketeers. During that run, Christon drove to the basket for two as the shot clock expired. With 8:15 left in the half, senior Matt Stainbrook threw down a big two-handed dunk to put the Musketeers up 16-9. Freshmen guard Myles Davis nailed a three at the end of the half to give the Musketeers a 27-20 point lead heading into the locker room.
In the first half, Christon led the team in scoring with eight points. The Musketeers ended the first half shooting 41.4 percent (12-of-29). They shot 25 percent (1-of-4) from behind the arc and 33.3 percent (2-of-6) from the charity stripe. Xavier held the Volunteers to 26.7 percent (8-of-26) shooting, which included hitting only one of nine from the three-point line. Tennessee also shot 25 percent (3-of-12) from the free throw line.
In the second half, the first few minutes were hotly contested. After a 6-0 Tennessee run, Christon hit a fade-away jumper to end the run. After a Tennessee three-pointer, Myles Davis answered with his own to get the Cintas Center rocking. Christon was able to score two on a reverse layup with 7:15 remaining. The Musketeers were able to gain the largest lead of the night of 10 points with an Isaiah Philmore free throw. The Volunteers made it interesting in the end, cutting the lead to two, but Myles Davis shot some clutch free throws, five in 24 seconds, at the end to give Xavier their second victory of the season.
Xavier's final stat line included a field goal percentage of 48.1 percent (26-of-54). The Musketeers shot 25 percent (2-of-8) from behind the arc, while shooting 54.2 percent (13-of-28) from the charity stripe. Tennessee shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57), 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from three-point territory, and 36.8 percent (7-of-19) on free throws. The Musketeers won the rebounding battle 40-34, 14 of which came on the offensive glass. The Musketeers were able to dominate down low, scoring 44 of their 67 points in the paint.
Stainbrook, Christon, and M. Davis had big games to notch the Musketeers' second win. Stainbrook scored 12 points and had nine rebounds in the win. Christon scored 18 points and had two assists and three rebounds. M. Davis scored 13 points, six of which came from behind the arc. He also shot 5-of-6 from the foul line.
Erik Stenger, Isaiah Philmore, and freshman Brandon Randolph also contributed to the Xavier victory. Philmore added eight points and six rebounds, while Stenger scored seven to go along with seven rebounds. Randolph helped out with five points, four assists, and three rebounds.
Jordan McRae led the Volunteers in points, scoring 23, nine of which came from behind the arc.
The Musketeers' next game will be on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7:00 p.m. as the Morehead State Eagles come to the Cintas Center. The game will be broadcast on both 700 WLW and Fox Sports 2. Stay tuned to GoXavier.com for the latest news and updates of men's basketball.