Xavier Battles Against Tennessee Before Falling, 51-47

Martin pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds against Tennessee.

Martin pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds against Tennessee.

Dec. 29, 2012

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Xavier held a four-point halftime advantage at Tennessee, but a second-half charge by the Volunteers gave the Musketeers their third-straight loss, 51-47. Travis Taylor put up a game-high tying 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and Justin Martin chimed in with six points and a career-high 12 boards.

Xavier (7-5) opened up a 10-point lead early in the second half, but went scoreless for nearly six minutes while Tennessee (8-3) put together a 15-2 run to take a 38-35 lead. The Musketeers were held without a field goal for over 10 minutes and found themselves trailing, 44-38, with 4:45 left in the game.

Dee Davis converted an old-fashioned 3-point play and Taylor put in a layup to cut the deficit to a point, 44-43, with two minutes on the clock. The Vols scored the next four points and Xavier was only able to cut the margin to two points, 49-47, with two seconds left.

The Musketeers dominated the rebounding efforts in the game, posting a season-high 44 boards. XU's previous high was 41 in the season-opener against Fairleigh Dickinson. Tennessee was held to 28 rebounds, 10 fewer than its season average.

Both teams struggled from the floor, with Xavier connecting on 33 percent (18-of-55) and Tennessee making 39 percent (19-of-49). XU went 1-of-8 (13 percent) from long range and UT was 3-of-20 (15 percent) from behind the arc.

Isaiah Philmore scored eight points and hauled in seven boards in the game. Erik Stenger chipped in six points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds for the Musketeers. From his point-guard position, Davis finished with seven points, six assists and three steals.

A dominating effort on the boards in the first half helped Xavier to a 25-21 margin headed into halftime. The Musketeers nearly matched their season average of 32.1 rebounds per game with 29 in the first half against the Volunteers. UT was limited to only 16 boards during the stanza. Philmore led all-scorers in the first 20 minutes with eight points, while also chipping in five rebounds, and Martin paced the rebounding with seven.

Josh Richardson paced Tennessee with a game-high-tying 12 points, while also grabbing seven rebounds. UT's leading scorer Trae Golden was limited to five points, all from the charity stripe. Golden entered the game averaging 14.2 ppg.

Next up for the Musketeers is a trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a 7 p.m. game at Wake Forest on Wednesday, Jan. 2.