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December 10, 2013

Muskies outlast Purple Aces 63-60

CINCINNATI - Xavier rallied and held on to defeat Evansville, 63-60, Tuesday night at Cintas Center. The Musketeers improve to 7-3, while the Purple Aces fall to 6-4. Three Musketeers scored in double figures.

Sophomore Semaj Christon led the team in scoring with a game-high 19 points. He had two rebounds and two assists and shot 13-of-17 from the charity stripe. Christon has improved his free throw shooting in the past two games, making 75.8 percent (25-for-33).



Junior Matt Stainbrook notched his second double-double in a Xavier uniform, scoring 10 and grabbing 15 rebounds. He also added three assists. He continues to lead the team in rebounding and blocks.

Junior Dee Davis had 10 points, which included nailing two three-pointers. He also had three assists and one rebound.

Freshman Myles Davis scored all nine of his points from behind the arc. M. Davis is shooting 46 percent (25-of-54) behind the arc on the season.

Christon opened the game with a jumper just inside the three-point line. Both teams traded baskets for the first ten minutes of the half, as the lead changed five times. Stainbrook, who had eight rebounds in the first half, hustled for one and dished it to M. Davis for a trey with 12:43 remaining. Evansville then went on a 10-0 run to go up nine points due to several Xavier turnovers. The Purple Aces took a 32-25 lead heading into the locker room.

Xavier scored the first three points in the second half off of a Christon foul shot and a Stainbrook layup, but Evansville was able to extend their lead to 13 with a three-pointer with 12:03 remaining. The Musketeers continued to chip away and were energized by a huge M. Davis trey to cut the lead to six. XU was able to take the lead on a D. Davis three-pointer with 5:03 left to play but were quickly tied up at 58. After several minutes of scoreless action, Stainbrook nailed two foul shots to give the home team a two-point advantage. However, D.J. Balentine of Evansville responded with a basket. With 40 seconds left, Stainbrook powered through a double team and threw a quick pass to junior Justin Martin for a layup and a two point lead. A Martin block and several made foul shots iced the game for Xavier and gave it a 63-60 victory.

Other contributors in the Musketeers' win were Martin and sophomore James Farr. Martin scored five points and grabbed four rebounds, while Farr had four points and five rebounds.

XU's final stat line consisted of a 36.2 field goal percentage (21-of-58). The Musketeers also made 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from behind the arc. Evansville shot 46.9 percent (23-of-49) from the field, including a 28.6 (4-of-14) three-point percentage.

Balentine was Evansville's top scorer with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.

Xavier's next game will be against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Crosstown Classic. The game will be played on Dec. 11 at 8:00 PM at U.S. Bank Arena and will be televised on FOX Sports


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