Xavier was able to find a way to win after struggling in the first half against Kent State. The Musketeers won the game 62-55, but the first half told a different story.
Kent State was able to jump out to a 9-0 lead to start the game. Chris Evans scored 5 points during the opening run and capped off the run with a reverse alley-oop. The Musketeers were held scoreless for the first four minutes until a three pointer by Dee Davis gave Xavier their first points of the game and made it 9-3 with 15:50 left in the first half.
A made 3 pointer by Brad Redford cut the Kent State lead to one point as the Golden Flashes lead 11-10. The teams would continue to trade baskets, but never really shot well as the score at halftime was 20-18 with Kent State being ahead.
The Musketeers shot an abysmal 20.8% from the field and 42.9% from the free throw line in the first half. Kent State was not much better, shooting 30.8% from the field and just 16.7% from the 3-point line. The second half would prove to be much different as both teams began to shoot well.
After a basket by Melvin Tabb to start the half, the Musketeers went on a 5-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 23-22 with 16:47 left in the second half. Semaj Christon scored all 5 points during the run, which was sparked by an and-1 layup and a converted free throw by the freshman guard.
Brad Redford hit back-to-back 3 pointers that gave Xavier a 33-29 lead with 12:58 left in the second half.
A tip-in by Tabb tied the game at 33-33. From that point the Musketeers would go on a 12-0 run and would take the lead for good. Dee Davis sparked the beginning of the run by scoring the first 5 of 12 points for Xavier. Brad Redford hit a 3 during the run and also had an assist to Erik Stenger who finished with a dunk. After the run Xavier would lead 45-33 with 8:49 left in the game.
Kent State tried to make a comeback by going on a 5-0 run towards the end, but the Golden Flashes were unable to complete the comeback as Xavier was able to convert on their free throws in the second half.
Xavier was able to put together a much better second half shooting 58.3% from the field, 66.7% from the 3-point line, and 85.7% from the free throw line. Kent State continued to struggle shooting the ball by going 33.3% from the field and 16.7% from the 3-point line in the second half.
The Musketeers were led in scoring by Semaj Christon who finished with 18 points. Other Musketeers in double figures were Brad Redford with 14 points and Dee Davis with 10 points.
Kent State was led in scoring by Melvin Tabb who finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Chris Evans finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Xavier will have this upcoming week off for finals and will be back in action on December 19 against rival Cincinnati Bearcats. It is the first year for the Crosstown Classic at U.S. Bank Arena. The game is set to tipoff at 7 P.M.