By: Andrew Utz ~Staff Writer~
Cintas Center was a full house for the annual Crosstown Shootout, holding 10,617 Xavier and University of Cincinnati fans for the Musketeer’s 65-55 victory. Xavier came out strong in the first half, taking a 10-1 lead after the first five minutes. The Bearcats were held to 42-26 at the half-time buzzer. Junior guard Myles Davis hit a corner three-pointer as the regulation clock expired.
At half-time, the Musketeers held the Bearcats to 12 rebounds, while senior forward James Farr and sophomore guard Trevon Bluiett grabbed eight of 20 Xavier rebounds. The second half proved to be less fortuitous for Xavier, as UC continued to knock on its door. The Bearcats opened play with a 10-0 run for three minutes. Later in the half, the Bearcats got within five of the Musketeers at 52-47, with 10 minutes left in play.
Thirty seconds later, redshirt freshman Edmond Sumner drove for a one-handed dunk that sent Cintas Center rocking. Xavier pulled away again with a 6-0 run with seven minutes remaining.
The lead grew to 14 points until a late run by the Bearcats set the final score to 65-55. Davis led the Musketeers with 17 points, including going 3-4 beyond the arc. Sumner contributed 11 points and five assists, while Farr scored nine points, collected six rebounds and blocked two shots. Davis, Bluiett and Sumner each put in more than 30 minutes during the game.
It was the first Shootout at Cintas Center since the infamous brawl in 2011, as the next two editions of the rivalry game were held at the neutral, downtown U.S. Bank Arena. Last season’s game marked the return to the schools’ campuses and was played at Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena.
For the first time since 1994, both Xavier and Cincinnati entered the Shootout ranked. The win marked Xavier’s third straight win in the rivalry and the seventh of the past nine Shootouts. Cincinnati has not won consecutive games in the rivalry since the 1996 season.