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November 8, 2013

Randolph Helps Trigger WIn over Gardner Webb

The first game is in the books as the Xavier Musketeers defeated the Gardner Webb Bulldogs by a score of 83-59 behind 13 points and 12 rebounds from junior Matt Stainbrook in a Friday night game at Cintas Center in front of 10,250 fans.

The Muskies got off to another slow start, falling behind 7-0 at the 14:53 mark of the first half but back to back 3 pointers by Semaj Christon and Myles Davis helped close the deficit to 9-6. On the very next Xavier possession, Christon sliced down the lane for an and one, then sank the free throw to tie the score at 9-9 out of the under 12 media timeout. Christon would finish with 11 first half points and 14 for the game to go along with 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

With the score tied 13-13, the X men would score 10 of the next 13 points in just under 4 minutes to extend their lead to 23-16. The run was capped off by a Jeff Martin 3 at the 5:16 mark and was keyed by back to back 3 point plays by Matt Stainbrook and freshman point guard Brandon Randolph.

Randolph, who played a game high 36 minutes, finished with 12 pts, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds, while also turning the ball over just once. That type of steady play from the freshman led to a 41-22 halftime lead for the Muskies. Xavier used a 13-2 run over the final 2:58 to put the game out of reach.

During the run, it was the play of James Farr at both ends that seemed to help ignite the bench and other starters. Farr would finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds, with 5 points coming during that final 2:58.

In the second half, Gardner Webb would get as close as 14 points at 56-42 with 9:08 left to play, but a 14-4 run over the next 4 minutes, keyed by 5 straight from James Farr, would push the X lead to 20 and end any chance that the Bulldogs had to try to make the game respectable.

The rest of the game, Coach Mack ran his offense through the front court players of Stainbrook, Kamall Richards, Isaiah Philmore, and Jaylen Reynolds as those three would tally 20 of the final 27 points for the Musketeers as their lead grew to as many as 29 points.

Philmore finished with 8 pts, 3 rebounds, with Justin Martin tallying 6 points, Jaylen Reynolds 5 points, and both Myles Davis and Kamall Richards contributing 3 points.

The unsung hero of the game was Erik Stenger who finished with 9 points 4 rebounds in 22 minutes. Stenger did a great job getting easy buckets in transition, while also setting up his teammates for easy looks.

Coach Mack has to be pleased with the intensity of his team at both ends on the glass as they out-rebounded the Bulldogs 45-27 while limiting Gardner Webb to 40% field goal and 18% 3 point field goal.

The first half was a little rough at the charity stripe as the team made just 13 of 25 free throws, but to their credit, that number improved to 60% in the second half, going 9 of 15 for a total of 22 of 40 for the game.

Offensively, the Muskies got a lot of great looks around the rim and really attacked the rim, finishing 28 of 53 from the field for 53% and 5 of 10 from outside for 50%.

This was the first of 5 straight home games for the Musketeers to start the season. They will be back in action Tuesday November 12th for a 9:00 tip off against the Tennessee Volunteers.


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