By: Nick McGill ~Staff Writer~
After a hard-fought loss to the Creighton Bluejays in Omaha, the men’s basketball team had victories last Wednesday at home against Big East veteran Georgetown and on Monday at DePaul.
Xavier had not played Georgetown since 1995 in the first round of the NCAA tournament, when legendary coaches John Thompson for the Hoyas and Skip Prosser for the Musketeers faced each other in a hard-fought Georgetown victory.
This time around, both teams met after proving themselves through the Big East conference schedule, each entered the game with a 3-1 record in the Big East.
After trading baskets for much of the first half, the Hoyas pulled together a few scoring runs to enter halftime with a 42-29 lead.
With a quick 7-0 run to start the second half, Xavier chipped away at the lead before the Hoyas exploded with a barrage of three-pointers to gain a game-high 17 point advantage.
The Musketeers refused to back down, bouncing back with a few clutch 3-pointers by junior guard Dee Davis and redshirt junior forward Justin Martin.
With 4:56 remaining in the game, freshman Myles Davis broke out of a shooting slump with a huge three to give Xavier its first lead of the game.
Stellar defense and strong shooting down the stretch led to a 16-0 Musketeer run to end the game and give Xavier an 80-67 victory. Xavier went on a 44-14 run to stun a confident Georgetown team.
The guards led the way for XU as sophomore Semaj Christon and junior Dee Davis tallied 18 and 17 points respectively. The win gave Xavier the edge in the conference standings over a talented Georgetown squad.
A Martin Luther King Jr. matinee game took the Musketeers to Chicago to face DePaul at All State Arena as Xavier looked for its first road win in conference play.
The Musketeers grabbed an early lead and never gave it up, shooting a season-high 50 points in the first half. Led by Christon and Martin who scored 19 and 14 points in the first half respectively, the Musketeers went into halftime with a demanding 50-32 lead.
Haphazard play in the second half allowed the Blue Demons to claw back and trim the lead to 7 points with 5:50 remaining in the game.
The Musketeers gave up 13 of 21 turnovers in the second half, leading to 24 Blue Demon points. However, great shooting led the Musketeers to victory as they shot 58.3 percent from the field (28-48) and 80 percent from the free throw line (24-30).
This win marked the first ever road win in the Big East for the Musketeers. The win was the ninth victory for Xavier against an RPI top 100 team.
Only Kansas, Syracuse and Massachusetts can boast a higher win total in that category with 10 each.
Xavier will travel to Rhode Island on Saturday, Jan. 25 to take on an energetic Providence team that recently shocked Creighton at home with an 81-68 victory.