Xavier improves to 5-1 on the season as they defeat Drake 74-70 to win the 5th place game of the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim.
Freshman Semaj Christon looked to pick up right where he left off against Drexel, scoring a lay-up in transition to give Xavier the early 2-0 lead. The Musketeers continued to look well going on a 12-4 run to start the game with Semaj scoring 7 of Xavier's 12 points.
Drake followed Xavier's run with a 5-0 run of their own due to some early turnovers by the Musketeers. The Bulldogs took advantage of a young Musketeer team by turning turnovers into offense.
Drake freshman Joey King was able to go 3/3 from behind the arc in a little under two minutes to tie the game at 15-15 with 10:47 left in the first half.
The Bulldogs continued to be tough defensively and force turnovers causing 8 by the Musketeers in the first half. This allowed Drake to take 12 more shots than Xavier and go into the half leading the Musketeers 30-26.
Xavier came out of the gates in the second half much like they did in the first half. Justin Martin hit a three with the assist from Semaj to start a 7-2 run that gave Xavier the lead in the second half.
The Musketeers then followed that run with an 11-0 run due to the aggressive play of Semaj Christon. During the run Christon hit two free throws, had an assist, a steal, and a rebound and really set the pace for Xavier during that stretch. This gave the Musketeers the lead at 44-36 with 12:03 left in the game.
The Bulldogs would just not go away however as they went on a 7-2 run of their own led by the play of Jordan Clarke. During the Drake run, Clarke went to the free throw line three times coming away with 5 of the Bulldogs' 7 points.
Xavier then followed that run with an 11-2 run which gave the Musketeers their biggest lead of the game at 61-50 with 3:53 left in the game. Senior forward Jeff Robinson scored 6 of his 13 points during the run and all 13 points coming with 7 minutes left in the second half.
Drake tried to make it a game hitting 5 3-pointers within the last 1:20 of the game, but the Musketeers were able to hit their free throws and the seal the game for a victory.
Xavier had 5 players score in double figures being led by Semaj Christon's 16 points and 7 assists. Other double digit scorers were Dee Davis with 15, both Jeff Robinson and Justin Martin with 13, and Isaiah Philmore with 10.
Drake had 3 players score double figures and were led by Joey King's 21 points. Ben Simons had 20 and forward Jordan Clarke had 12 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
The Musketeers will be back in action on December 1 at Purdue at 2:15.