Xavier defeated Butler 62-47 on Tuesday afternoon in front of a national TV audience for ESPN's college basketball tip off marathon. The Bulldogs were 4-point favorites going into the game this afternoon, but Xavier made sure that they would not be underdogs in the final score on their own home court.
Xavier was able to get out to a quick 6-2 lead with the help of Travis Taylor who scored 4 of the Musketeers first 6 points. That lead was enough as the Musketeers never trailed during the entire game.
Defense was the story of the game as the Musketeers were able to force 11 Butler turnovers with 6 of them being in the first half. Xavier was able to jump out to a quick double-digit lead due to the outstanding play of Dee Davis. Davis stole the ball and finished with a reverse lay-up then later hit a three to give the Musketeers a 10-point lead.
Xavier was able to maintain their double-digit lead throughout most of the first half as a Semaj Christon lay-up in transition gave the Musketeers a 32-18 lead with 4:50. Butler countered Xavier's offense with a 11-4 run of their own to go into the half with Xavier leading 36-29.
The Musketeers came out in the second half looking to score the ball inside. Xavier was able to go on a 10-1 run during the second half thanks to the help of Travis Taylor scoring 4 points inside during the run. The run was capped off by a 3-pointer from Brad Redford in transition to give the Musketeers a 46-33 lead with 11:53 left in the game.
Xavier continued to suffocate the Bulldogs defensively allowing them to shoot only 36.5% from the field and an even worse 22.2% from beyond the arc. Dee Davis was able to hold sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke to 3/11 from the field and 1/7 from 3-point range.
The Musketeers were able to further out tough the Bulldogs as Xavier had 11 points on the fast break to Butler's 0 points. Xavier also scored more points in the paint than Butler winning the stat 26-22, but was also outrebounded by the Bulldogs 31 to 29.
With a bucket towards the end of the second half, Travis Taylor scored his 1,000-point of his collegiate career including his time at Monmouth University.
The Musketeers had three double-digit scorers who were led by Jeff Robinson who had 17 points. Travis Taylor had 15 and Justin Martin had 10 to pace Xavier. Semaj Christon played 27 minutes coming off an elbow injury. He didn't look to score much finishing with only 2 points, but he also led the Musketeers with 8 assists.
Butler was led in scoring by their one double-digit scorer, Kellen Dunham, who finished with 11 points. The Bulldogs next highest scorer was Andrew Smith with 9 points.
Xavier will be back in action this Saturday November 17 against Robert Morris. The game will take place at Cintas at 2:00 P.M.