November 22, 2014 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Xavier fights off pesky Lumberjacks
Preseason First Team All-Big East center Matt Stainbrook scored 14 of his 20 points in the 2nd half to help the Xavier Musketeers defeat the pesky Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 81 – 63 on Friday night in front of a packed rowdy Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dee Davis had 9 points and a season high 12 assists, while Remy Abell and Trevon Bluiett combined for 28 points and 5 rebounds for the Musketeers, who ended Stephen F. Austin’s 12 game true road game winning streak in the first meeting of the two schools.
“I think we continued to handle their pressure well,” Matt Stainbrook stated after the game. “That’s something that we did a fairly good job of in the first half and sort of banged it out in the second half. But it was tough with the pressure…along with (them) knocking down tough shots. So I think we eventually locked our defense down a little bit and started making some easier buckets on our end, which let us drift away.”
6’6 210 pound Jacob Parker led Stephen F. Austin and all scorers with 21 points and 4 rebounds, while shooting 50% from downtown. 6’4 forward Thomas Walkup proved to be a match-up problem for the Xavier big men scoring 17 points and grabbing 8 rebounds, with half of those rebounds on the offensive end. Senior Forward Tanner Clayton and Freshman Guard Ty Charles provided a spark off the bench combining for 19 points and 13 rebounds. The Musketeers held the Lumberjacks to 37.9% from the field , and 63 points total, which were both lows for Stephen F. Austin this season.
The Lumberjacks battled tough and kept the game close with the 3 point shot during the 1st half, but found itself facing a 7 point deficit going into halftime. Xavier came out in the 2nd half with an emphasis of using their size and feeding the ball down low. 6’10 270 pound center Matt Stainbrook would get fouled at the 19:28 mark and convert on two free-throws to expand Xavier’s lead to nine, 41-32. Lumberjacks forward Jacob Parker would answer with a huge 3 point shot to cut the lead back down to six, 41-35.
Xavier seemed to take control of the game after Myles Davis gave the Musketeers its largest lead of the night getting fouled at the 13:33 mark to put Xavier up by eleven, 53-42. At this point in the game it was hard to see another run from the gritty, tough opponent out of the state of Texas, but freshman Ty Charles hit another huge 3 from the corner to cut Xavier’s lead back down to eight, 53-45. The Lumberjacks were only down 5 points, 66-61 at the 5:44, after the two-handed slam by Tanner Clayton. That would be the closest Stephen F. Austin would get, as the Musketeers would end the game on a 14-2 run to improve to 3-0 on the season.
“That was one of the hardest playing teams that Cintas Center has ever seen. And that’s a credit to coach (Brad) Underwood’s team,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “They’re competitors.”
Xavier will host the Murray State Racers Monday, November 24th at 7pm.
Highlights courtesy of GoXavier.com
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