Justin Martin led Xavier with 15 points.
Nov. 28, 2013
PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS --- Xavier dropped a heartbreaker in its opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis, losing 77-74 in overtime to No. 23 Iowa. Xavier falls to 5-1 with the loss, while Iowa raises it record to 6-0.
The Musketeers take on Tennessee Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Imperial Arena here at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Xavier jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead four minutes into tonight’s game. Sophomore Semaj Christon fueled the run with a steal and a pair of dunks, while senior Isaiah Philmore also scored four points. Iowa answered with a 11-3 run of its own to cut the lead to 14-13 with 9:24 left before halftime. Xavier led by one point, 25-24, with 4:16 left but finished off the half with a 12-6 spurt that was capped off by a Christon 3-pointer. XU led 37-30 at halftime.
The Musketeers began the second half with a pair of technical free throws by freshman Myles Davis, beginning a 10-2 run to start the second half that extended XU’s lead to 47-32 with under 16 minutes left in regulation. The Musketeers still led by 13 points, 55-42, with a little over 10 minutes left. That’s when XU turnovers helped fuel an Iowa comeback, a 12-0 run in less than three minutes that brought the Hawkeyes back to within a point at 55-54 with seven minutes left in regulation. Xavier got the lead back up to six points, 60-54, thanks to an old-fashioned 3-point play from senior Matt Stainbrook and a layup by Philmore.
XU still led by four points, 67-63, with under two minutes left but another turnover helped open the door to another Iowa comeback as the Hawkeyes tied the score at 67-all with four straight points. Philmore put XU ahead again at 69-67 with a pair of free throws but Iowa scored again to tie the score at 69-all with under a minute left. XU had an opportunity when Stainbrook missed a shot inside, got his own rebound but was unable to finish. Stainbrook blocked an Iowa attempt at a game-winning shot on its final possession, sending the game to overtime.
Iowa jumped out to the early lead in overtime but when junior Justin Martin scored on a breakaway layup with 2:21 left, the score was tied again at 73. The Hawkeyes scored the next four points to go up 77-73. A free throw by sophomore James Farr cut the deficit to three points at 77-74. Following an Iowa turnover, XU got off 3-point attempts from three different players in the final 10 seconds but none found the net.
Martin led Xavier with a season-high 15 points, while Christon added 14 despite only playing 10 minutes in the second half due to cramps. Stainbrook added 11 points and six rebounds, while Myles Davis contributed 12 points. Farr led XU rebounders with 10 boards.
Two glaring stats hurt the Musketeers tonight. XU had 19 turnovers and allowed 20 Iowa offensive rebounds, including 14 after halftime.