Xavier fell to rival Cincinnati in the first year of the new Crosstown Classic held at U.S. Bank Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Musketeers 60-45, but the first half told a different story.
Cincinnati was able to start the game quick going on a 5-0 run. Sean Kilpatrick was able to hit his first shot, which was a 3, to start the run for the Bearcats.
Xavier was able to counter Cincinnati's 5-0 run with a 4-0 run to make the game 5-4 with 16:53 left in the first half.
Xavier was able to gain their first lead of the game after a layup from Semaj Christon, the Musketeers were able to take a 10-9 lead. Xavier followed a made jumper by Cashmere Wright with a 6-0 run. Dee Davis and Brad Redford hit back-to-back threes to give the Musketeers a 16-11 lead at the 10:55 mark.
The two teams would continue to trade baskets going into the half that the Musketeers were leading 24-22. Xavier would go 0/6 from the foul line in the first half and the second half would tell a completely different story for both teams.
Cincinnati was able to start the second half just as quick as they did in the first half by going on a 7-0 run. The Bearcats would never look back the rest of the second half after this run. Kilpatrick led UC during the run and the rest of the half.
Xavier was only able to score 6 points in 7 minutes and 30 seconds to start the second half. Philmore led the offense in the beginning of the second half, scoring the Musketeers first 4 points. Xavier saw their luck go south when both Semaj Christon and Dee Davis both had to deal with cramps in the second half. At the 9:31 mark, both Christon and Davis sitting out at that point for Brad Redford to run the point. Semaj went out with 13:12 left in the second half and would never return.
The Bearcats continued to apply the pressure and the Musketeers, being shorthanded, were not able to recover. Xavier would try to make a comeback by going on a 5-0 to make it 48-40 with 6:23 left in the second half. Xavier would have some more bad luck as Dee Davis would foul out with 5:23 left in the game. From that point on the Musketeers were unable to handle Cincinnati's full court press without a true point guard in the game.
Xavier shot an abysmal percentage from the free throw line going 3/14, which is 21.4%. The Musketeers only shot 15.4% from the 3-point line. Cincinnati didn't shot much better only shooting 20.8% from the 3-point line, but the Bearcats did their damage on the rebounds. UC outrebounded XU 47-37, but 20 of the Bearcats 47 rebounds were offensive.
The Musketeers were led in scoring by Travis Taylor who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Isaiah Philmore would finish with 8 points to be second in scoring for Xavier.
Cincinnati was led in scoring by Sean Kilpatrick who finished with 25 points. Cashmere Wright finished with 15 and JaQuon Parker had 11 points to lead the Bearcats.
Xavier will be back in action this Saturday at the Cintas Center against Wofford at 2:00 P.M.