By: Adam Tortelli ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier men’s basketball team moved to 6-2 on Dec. 6 with a 97-82 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in front of a raucous, record-setting crowd of 10,250.
The Musketeers found success through a balanced scoring attack in what has become one the team’s most prevalent themes through these early stages of the season.
While the bulk of scoring has been carried by senior center Matt Stainbrook and freshman forward Trevon Blueitt, it was sophomore guard Myles Davis that led the charge on offense with a career-high 18 points that included a perfect four-for-four on his attempts from 3-point range.
Despite coming out of the locker room to a slow start, head coach Chris Mack saw his team turn things around on the floor from its 10-5 deficit with a run of its own.
During the team’s 14-2 response, sophomore forward Jalen Reynolds threw down successive dunks to bring the crowd to their feet.
The Musketeer’s defense would keep the lead and senior co-captain guard Dee Davis sparked one final charge of the half as Xavier went into halftime leading 41-30.
Alabama came out of the break poised for comeback, but freshman guard J.P. Macura refused to let his team’s grasp on the game slip away.
Macura’s seven straight points extended the Musketeer’s lead to a sizeable 19 point cushion.
The commanding lead would stay for the remainder of the game as Xavier cruised to a 15-point victory, without the Crimson Tide ever getting the game within double-digits again.
Stainbrook suffered from foul trouble on calls early in the game resulting in only two minutes of first half playing time, but still managed 10 points and two steals in just 14 minutes of work.
The Musketeers returned to action on Dec. 9 against IUPUI.
After a dreary start to the game, the Musketeers managed to put together a run at the end of the first half to head into the locker room with a four point lead at 27-23.
The first half was plagued with sloppy play and poor offensive execution.
A hot start to the first half quickly landed the Musketeers firmly in the lead.
The offense finally found its rhythm, shooting 63.6 percent in the second half and the defense continued to shut down IUPUI.
Xavier finished the game decisively, winning 66-43.
Blueitt was the high scorer for the Musketeers with 12 points. Dee Davis led the team with six assists.
The Musketeers return to action on the road on Dec. 13 against the Missouri Tigers with two games following before beginning conference play on New Year’s Eve against the Georgetown Hoyas.