Xavier Cruises to 93-65 Victory over Abilene Christian
Nov. 25, 2013
CINCINNATI - Xavier cruised to a 93-65 victory over Abilene Christian tonight at Cintas Center. With the win, the Musketeers improve to 5-0 on the season. This is the best start of the season since 2011-12 when the team started 8-0.
Four Musketeers scored in double digits in the victory. Sophomore guard Semaj Christon led the team in scoring with 17 points. He also added six assists and three rebounds. He has scored in double figures in 24 games dating back to last season.
Freshman Myles Davis scored 15, all coming from behind the arc. With tonight's performance, his three-point percentage improved to 43.5.
Big men James Farr and Jalen Reynolds had two more large performances for the Musketeers. Farr had 14 points and was two rebounds shy of his second double-double. Farr's points included four tip-ins. After his 11 rebound game against Miami (Ohio), Reynolds grabbed 7 boards tonight. He also tied his season-high 11 points.
The beginning of the game was hotly contested, as the teams changed leads five times in the first five minutes. Junior Justin Martin scored five of Xavier's first six points, including an old-fashioned three-point play. The Wildcats' performance from behind the arc kept them in the game in the first half. They hit three of their first four shots and finished shooting 5-of-11 on three-point attempts in the first period of play. Christon was able to drive untouched for a dunk on a Musketeers' 11-0 run midway through the half. After Abilene Christin cut the lead to seven, Myles Davis hit a big three-pointer to maintain a ten-point lead.
Xavier headed into the locker room with a 39-31 halftime lead. The Musketeers' 55.2 first half field goal percentage was the highest in any first half of the season.
The Wildcats cut the lead to five within the first minute of the second half. But the Musketeers quickly responded with another 11-0 run to go up 53-37. During that run, Brandon Randolph showed great hustle, getting a steal, grabbing his own rebound twice and then floating it in for two. Matt Stainbrook made a great inside-out pass to M. Davis for a trey to give Xavier the 62-45 lead with 11:39 remaining. Xavier's defense tightened up, and the Musketeers went on another long run, scoring 11 to the Wildcats' 1. In the highlight of the game, Stainbrook threw a lob pass to Jalen Reynolds who slammed it home to pump up the Cintas Center crowd. Xavier cruised for the rest of the game, with a final score of 93-65.
XU's 93 points were a season high. The team's final stat line consisted of a 57.9 field goal percentage (33-of-57), their highest of the season. The Musketeers also shot 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from behind the arc. Abilene Christian had a 43.4 field goal percentage (23-of-53) and shot 37.5 percent (9-of-24) from three-point territory.
Stainbrook was one point shy of his second double-double of the season, scoring nine and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also added five assists. After his strong performance in the first minutes of the game, Martin finished with nine points and had four rebounds.
Randolph finished with eight points, four rebounds and three assists. Senior captain Isaiah Philmore also contributed with seven points and six rebounds.
Team stats for the Musketeers included a 45-21 rebounding differential, 16 of those were offensive rebounds, a season high. They also had 48 points from the bench, 50 points in the paint, and seven blocks.
Guard Harrison Hawkins led Abilene Christian with 15 points, nine of which came from behind the arc.
The Musketeers will now travel to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas. Xavier will play the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Stay tuned to GoXavier.com for the latest news and updates of men's basketball.