Semaj Christon scored a new-career high 25 points in the victory against Purdue.
Dec. 1, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Freshman Semaj Christon scored a new-career high 25 points and Justin Martin added 12 for the Xavier men's basketball that picked up a hard-nosed 63-57 road victory over Purdue in front of a sold out Mackey Arena.
Christon scored 15 of his points in the second half as he led Xavier in a back-and-forth affair that saw seven lead changes and six ties. Isaiah Philmore posted eight points and seven rebounds, Travis Taylor collected six points and seven boards and Brad Redford scored seven.
Xavier finished the game shooting 43.4 percent (23-of-53) from the floor and converted on 30.8 percent (4-of-13) of its 3-pointers, including Christon's open look that put the Musketeers up by seven late in the game.
Purdue struggled shooting all night and made 35.0 percent (21-of-60) overall and did not make any of its 17 3-point attempts on the night. Terone Johnson was the leading scorer for the Boilermakers and finished with 19 points. Purdue is the first team since the 2009-10 season to go without a long-range bucket against XU.
The Musketeers benefitted from two and-one layups from Christon and Martin to overtake Purdue's halftime lead. Purdue jumped back on top before Christon converted an old-fashion 3-point play for Xavier. The lead was pushed to 50-46 on Brad Redford's deep 3-pointer with five minutes left.
Christon widened Xavier's advantage with a driving basket as time ran down on the shot clock and a wide open 3-pointer from the top of the key with close to two minutes left.
Boilermaker free throws from Johnson made it a 55-52 Xavier lead with 90 seconds remaining and the Musketeers were unable to convert on their possession. With a chance to tie the score Purdue committed one of its 12 turnovers giving the ball back to Xavier. Travis Taylor gave XU a 57-52 lead with a put back layup with 36.2 remaining.
Purdue wouldn't quit and stretched the game out using timeouts and fouls. Davis missed two free throws and Purdue raced down the court looking to cut the lead to one possession.
Landon Amos, who was just inserted into the game for the first time, came up with a block on the other end of the floor. The Boilermakers scrambled to the rebound and heaved a desperation 3-pointer that went out of bounds with 3.7 seconds left.
The win was the third-straight for the Musketeers and the seventh-straight over a Big Ten opponent.
The first half was a tale of two distinctive runs by both clubs as the Musketeers started strongly but allowed Purdue to battle and eventually take a 29-26 halftime lead.
Xavier allowed a bucket on Purdue's first possession of the game but stifled the Boilermakers' shooting and built an early 11-2 lead with Christon leading the way with six points.
Purdue, which started the game 1-of-7 from the field, was forced to call a timeout. The Boilermakers followed the timeout with a 15-2 run to overtake the lead midway through the first half. Justin Martin slowed the run with a transition 3-pointer to pull Xavier back within one.
The Musketeers took a 24-21 lead at the five-minute mark as Martin and Christon both went strong to the rim.
Xavier finished the half going 10-of-25 (40.0 percent) from the floor and hit two three-pointers. Christon's 10 points led all scorers at the break.
The Musketeers return home to face Vanderbilt in a game set for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on Thursday night at Cintas Center.