A big offensive second half and a near flawless overtime performance helped Xavier notch an impressive 77-66 win at home, on senior night, over #16 Saint Louis, ending the Billikens eleven game win streak.
Playing their final home game at the Cintas Center, Xavier seniors Travis Taylor, Brad Redford and Jeff Robinson each came up big at different moments in the game, helping Xavier improve to 17-12 overall and 9-6 in the Atlantic Ten heading into the regular season finale on Saturday at Butler.
Taylor was Xavier's second leading scorer on the night, finishing with 19 points while also amassing an incredible 19 rebounds in the win. Taylor continued to look the part of confident veteran, with his strong play even showing up at the foul line as he hit some important ones, finishing 7-9 from the stripe.
Freshman point guard Semaj Christon ended up leading the charge for the Musketeers, finishing with 20 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in one of his most complete games in a Xavier uniform.
In addition to Christon and Taylor, Xavier got 11 points from Redford, 9 points and 6 rebounds from Robinson, 8 points from Isaiah Philmore and 6 points with 5 assists from Dee Davis. Justin Martin didn't have his best statistical game for Xavier, scoring just 2 points, but did grab 2 rebounds, block 2 shots and record 2 steals in his limited minutes.
Saint Louis got 17 points from Kwamain Mitchell, 16 points from Dwayne Evans, 14 points from Mike McCall Jr and 10 points from Jordair Jett; including the basket to send the game into overtime.
The Musketeers did an excellent job on two of the Billikens usual offensive weapons, holding sharpshooter Cody Ellis to 4 points on 0-15 shooting from the floor, and putting the clamps on big man Rob Loe, who managed 0 points and only 3 rebounds.
On the game, Xavier outshot SLU by a tally of 43% to 30%, including forcing the Billikens into a dreadful 7-30 performance from behind the three-point arc. The Musketeers also outrebounded Saint Louis, 46-42, leading to an advantage in points in the paint as well as 17 second chance points.
Overtime provided almost no drama in Cincinnati on Wednesday night, as the Musketeers scored the first points and never looked back, at one point leading by a game high 12 points with just over a minute left. With less than ten seconds left, Xavier coach Chris Mack was able to call off the dogs and give his seniors one final ovation, as Robinson, Taylor and Redford left the game to be replaced by walk-on players.