Xavier falls at home to Vanderbilt in overtime 66-64. The Commodores were struggling coming into this game with a record of (2-4). However, Vanderbilt found a way to get it done getting a road win in the Cintas Center.
The Musketeers were able to get out to a hot start going on a 5-0 run to begin the game. Isaiah Philmore made an impact in his first start and home game of the season scoring 4 points and grabbing 3 rebounds, two being offensive, which saw Xavier take a 9-7 lead with 16:19 left in the first half.
An offensive rebound and layup by Justin Martin off his own free throw miss gave Xavier a 19-13 lead with 7:55 left in the first half. This capped off a 5-0 run for the Musketeers. Vanderbilt was held scoreless during the run, which totaled up to 5 minutes and 19 seconds that the Commodores were held scoreless.
At the 3:01 mark in the first half, Erik Stenger grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked out to Dee Davis who hit a 3 and gave Xavier a 29-21 lead. The Musketeers would go into halftime leading 33-27.
Xavier was able to get out to yet another hot start in the second half, this time going on a 7-0 run fueled by the play of Senior forward Travis Taylor. Taylor scored all 7 of the Musketeers points during the run. Vanderbilt wouldn't get a bucket until the 16:00 mark in the second half when Kedren Johnson hit a 3 to make the game 40-30. On the following possession an and-1 layup by Justin Martin gave the Musketeers their biggest lead at 43-40 with 15:14 left in the second half.
From that point Vanderbilt went on a 10-0 that was capped off by a 3 from Shelby Moats. The Commodores had cut the Xavier lead to 3 points as the Musketeers led 43-40 with 11:45 left in the second half.
Semaj Christon was able to give the Musketeers some spark as two consecutive layups in transition gave Xavier the 47-40 lead. However, Vanderbilt would answer with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 47-47 with 8:39 left.
Xavier was able to answer with a 5-0 run due to the tough play of Isaiah Philmore. Philmore scored all 5 of the Musketeers points during the run and also added two offensive rebounds. Xavier led 52-47 with 5:50 left.
A steal and a layup by Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller cut the Xavier lead to 1 as the Musketeers led 54-53.
The Musketeers had two chances at the final shot to win the game, but failed to convert either attempt. Justin Martin missed a 3-point attempt, which was rebounded by Isaiah Philmore and kicked out to Semaj Christon. Christon drove towards the baseline and shot a fade-a-way jumper that was air-balled. The game went into overtime tied at 54-54.
At the start of overtime Travis Taylor was able to convert an and-1 layup. Taylor would follow his layup by going 1/2 from the free throw line to give the Musketeers a 58-56 lead with 2:24 left in overtime.
From that moment on Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller took over the rest of overtime. Fuller hit a 3 from the corner to give the Commodores a 59-58 lead with 2:09 left in OT. Fuller would then convert consecutive and-1 layups to give Vanderbilt the lead at 64-60 with 1:10 left in overtime.
Brad Redford would connect from 3 to pull the Musketeers back within 1 with the score at 64-63 with 56 seconds left in OT. A missed 3-pointer and an offensive rebound by Vanderbilt caused Semaj Christon to foul Kyle Fuller with 14.9 seconds left in overtime. It was Semaj's fifth foul and Fuller would convert on both free throws to give the Commodores a 66-63 lead.
Jeff Robinson then went 1/2 from the foul line putting Xavier down 66-64. Fuller would be fouled on the inbounds pass and go to the free throw line for 2 shots. Fuller missed both shots, but Robinson fumbled the rebound and then passed it to Dee Davis who missed a long three as time expired.
The Musketeers were plagued by both 3-point and free throw shooting throughout the game. Xavier shot an abysmal 25% from 3-point range and 52.9% from free throws. XU was led in scoring by Travis Taylor who had 15 points, Semaj finished with 13 points and 5 assists, Justin Martin finished with 13 points, and Isaiah Philmore finished with a double-double tallying 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Commodores also had woes from shooting. Vanderbilt shot worse at the foul line only converting 52% of their free throws and shooting 33.3% from 3-point range. Vanderbilt was led in scoring by Kyle Fuller who finished with a game high 25 points and also added 5 assists. Kendren Johnson finished with 19 points and Kevin Bright finished with a double-double as well scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The Musketeers will return to action on Sunday December 9 against Kent State. The game is set to tipoff at 4:00 P.M. at the Cintas Center.