Xavier falls short against St. Joseph for the Musketeers second straight loss in conference play. The Musketeers were never able to get going as the Hawks found a way to win the game despite also not shooting well.
Xavier's big men used their height to create an advantage early in the game. Robinson and Martin were both able to grab offensive rebounds and turn it into points to give the Musketeers an early 4-3 lead. An alley-oop by Jeff Robinson from Semaj extended the lead to 10-7 right before St. Joseph would start on a big run to give the Hawks the lead.
3 point shooting would start and carry the Hawks, not only during this run, but also throughout the whole game as the St. Joseph shot 10/24 from 3. Langston Galloway hit three consecutive 3-pointers to spark the Hawks during the 12-2 run that gave St. Joseph the lead at 19-12.
The only made 3-pointer by the Musketeers came from Dee Davis to pull Xavier to within 4, but a quickly made 3 by Daryus Quarles extended the lead back to 7. A floater by Davis and turnaround hook from Robinson in the last minute of play cut the St. Joseph deficit as the Hawks led 30-26 at half.
Xavier came out in the second half hot on both the offensive and defensive end. On offense the Musketeers started the half on a 9-0 run that was capped off by a Robinson tip dunk off a Davis missed shot. This dunk gave the Xavier the lead at 35-30. On defense St. Joseph did not hit a shot until the 13:58 mark when Halil Kanacevic hit a turnaround jumper over Philmore to give the Hawks their first basket of the half.
Both teams would continue to trade baskets until Semaj was able to hit two consecutive jumpers and give the Musketeers a 45-41 lead. After a tip dunk by Travis Taylor and a layup from Semaj, Xavier led 49-47. From that point on the Musketeers would not score.
The Hawks got hot at the end of the game and were sparked by two huge 3s made by Langston Galloway. Galloway hit a 3 to extend St. Joseph's lead to 53-49 with 2:07 left in the game. A turnover by Dee Davis would lead to another made 3 by Galloway that would be the dagger for the Musketeers as the Hawks now led 56-49. After some made free throws by St. Joseph, the final score would be 59-49, after a 16-2 run to end the game by the Hawks.
Semaj Christon led the Musketeers in scoring with 16 points. Travis Taylor finished with 10 points and only 5 rebounds. Jeff Robinson had 8 points and led Xavier with 10 rebounds. The Musketeers only shot 7.7% from 3 going 1/13 for the game. Xavier also only shot 34.4% from the field.
St Joseph was led in scoring by Halil Kanacevic, Langston Galloway, and Carl Jones who all finished with 15 points. Kanacevic would also finish with 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks to round out his stats. The Hawks only shot 35.8% from the field, not much better than the Musketeers, but made 10 3-pointers, which was the difference for the game.
Xavier will be back in action on Wednesday January 30th against conference rival Dayton Flyers. The game is set to tip off at 9:00 P.M. at the Cintas Center.