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March 14, 2013Xavier fell 58-57 to Saint Joseph's in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn on Thursday evening, ending any chance to the Musketeers making another trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Trailing by one with less than two seconds left, Saint Joe's wing Langston Galloway hit two clutch foul shots to give the Hawks the final lead of the game.
The Musketeers received another strong performance from senior forward Travis Taylor, who led XU in both points, with 16, and rebounds, with 9. Brad Redford added 14 points for Xavier, while freshman guard Semaj Christon also reached double figures with 10 points but shot just 3/14 from the field.
In addition, Xavier got 7 points from Justin Martin, 5 from Isaiah Philmore, Jeff Robinson scored 4, and Dee Davis chipped in 1 point in the loss.
In the Hawks win, Saint Joe's was led by Galloway with 14 points, while Carl jones and Halil Kanacevic each added 11 points. Kanacevic was the star of the night for the Hawks, as he also tallied 7 rebounds and 6 assists on the night.
Xavier struggled to score all night, shooting just 42% from the field, and were unable to get anything going on the offensive glass; as SJU won the rebounding battle 29-28 and only let the Musketeers grab 10 offensive rebounds.
With their exit from the first round, 7th seeded Xavier officially becomes victims of an upset, as SJU held the 10th seed. The Musketeers now return to Cincinnati with an overall record of 17-14, which head coach Chris Mack is hoping will be enough to secure a berth into the NIT Tournament. Current projections have the Musketeers as favorites to get an NIT bid, however, that all could change depending on how the rest of the conference tournaments pan out. The Atlantic 10 Conference is one in particular that Xavier staff will keep an eye on, as the remaining tournament teams fight for NCAA automatic and at large tournament bids.