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December 2, 2012

Xavier wins season's first road test

Xavier defeated Purdue in the Musketeers first true road game of the season with a final score of 63-57.

The Musketeers were able to get out to a hot start after Purdue scored the first basket of the game. Xavier went on and 11-0 run with the help of the impressive play of freshman guard Semaj Christon. Christon scored 6 points and dished out one assist during the run that saw the Musketeers go up 11-2 with 14:00 minutes left in the first half. Xavier was able to hold Purdue scoreless for 6 minutes before the Boilermakers would score again.

Purdue was able to dominate the offensive boards outrebounding Xavier 17-3 for the game. Purdue would go on to outrebound the Musketeers 44-29 over the entire game. This advantage helped the Boilermakers go on a 15-2 run which gave them a 17-13 lead with 8:15 left. From that point on Xavier would struggle to regain the lead in the first half.

A layup in transition by Justin Martin gave Xavier a 24-21 lead with 4:36 to go in the firs half, but Purdue would battle back and hit two free throws going into halftime to give the Boilermakers 29-26 lead. Defensively in the first half the Musketeers were able to hold Purdue to zero 3 pointers as the Boilermakers went 0/10 from behind the arc.

Xavier started out strong in the second half with an and-1 layup by Semaj Christon tied the game at 31-31. On the next offensive possession for the Musketeers, Justin Martin hit an and-1 layup of his own to give Xavier the lead at 34-31 with 17:39 left in the second half.

The Boilermakers would just not go away as 3 straight offensive rebounds and a put back gave Purdue a 44-40 lead with 11:55 left in the game.

Semaj would hit his second and-1 layup of the half to give Xavier a 47-46 lead and from that point on the Musketeers would never trail again. Brad Redford would hit a 3 to give Xavier a 50-46 lead and cap their 6-0 run.

Purdue kept it close, but late game free throw success and tough defense by the Musketeers proved to be too much for the Boilermakers. Xavier held Purdue to 0/17 from behind the arc for the entire game. It was the first time in Matt Painter's career that his team had not hit a 3 pointer in a game. Xavier was also able to hold Purdue's leading scorer D.J. Byrd to 0 points for the game.

Xavier was led in scoring by Semaj Christon who scored 25 points, which is a new career high for the freshman. Justin Martin finished with 12 points and those were the only two Musketeers in double figures for the game. Senior Jeff Robinson was held to 0 points and only played 9 minutes as foul trouble plagued him the entire game.

Purdue was led in scoring by Terone Johnson who finished with 19 points. Ronnie Johnson finished with 12 points and those were the only double figure scorers for the Boilermakers.

Xavier's next game will be at Cintas on December 6. The Musketeers will be taking on the Vanderbilt Commodores tipoff at 7:30 P.M.


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