Quick Take: Auburn 89, Xavier 88 (2OT)

Playing just their second true road game of the season, Xavier looked out of sorts in the second half and out of gas in two overtimes, as they fell to Auburn 89-88. The Musketeers (8-3) dropped a game that they seemed to control for well over 30 minutes. The Tigers (5-5), behind a raucous crowd and an energized Bruce Pearl, rallied for a win in a game they trailed by as many as 14 in the second half.

The Muskies' defensive issues reared their ugly head in this game, as second half lapses killed them. They had their chances, but you can't help but wonder if this is a game that's going to stick out like a sore thumb come March.   Continue reading...

  NEXT UP FOR XAVIER...
MEN'S BASKETBALL
  Opponent: Florida Gulf Coast
  Date: Sunday, 12/28/2014
  Time: 4:00:00 PM
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
  Opponent: Kennesaw State
  Date: Monday, 12/22/2014
  Time: 12:00:00 PM

Monday, December 22, 2014
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Scouting Auburn!! Don't Underestimate Bruce Pearl!!
At first glance, Auburn might not appear to be too formidable (4-5 record-Power Ratings well into triple digits-Ken Pom at 149). The SEC Tigers are a team in transition. Coach Tony Barbee (John Calipari deciple-UMass player) was fired after four dismal seasons on the Plains. Before Barbee, Jeff Lebo,the one time North Carolina guard, had little success. The last really good War Eagle team was coached by Cliff Ellis in 1999 (SEC Champs-NCAA Sweet 16). Legendary Tiger stars Charles Barkley and Chuck Person are retired from the NBA!! Enter Bruce Pearl and his boundless enthusiasm plus plenty of NCAA bids at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Tennessee.

Xavier Cruises Over Missouri With Sharp Defense
Brandon Randolph scored a season-high 11 points on the strength of three three pointers and a perfect night from the field and Dee Davis finished with 17 points, four assists and four rebounds as the Musketeers rolled to a 74-58 win at Missouri. Xavier (8-2) passed their first true road test of the season in Columbia, and they did it on the strength of a defense that held the Tigers (5-5) to just one three pointer and 38.9% shooting from the field. It's the second straight game where the Musketeer defense played with energy, holding their assignments and executing well.

Muskies Prosper at Mizzou!! Exams this Week!! At Auburn Saturday!!
Road games are seldom a picnic (especially with a young roster featuring 9 underclassmen and 6 frosh), but Xavier shrugged off some adversity and posted a convincing 74-58 away win at Missouri Saturday in Columbia in the Muskies' first true road tilt. Mizzou coach Kim Anderson knows defense. He made it a priority to focus on Muskie "knowns" on offense. Top scorers Matt Stainbrook and Tre Bluiett rated extra attention, they got into foul trouble and produced below their norms(28 points usually, 14 points this game). Top post sub Jalen Reynolds was limited to 8 minutes, one dunk and 1 rebound, because of the zebras. Turnovers were higher than usual (17 total versus less than 11 on average).

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Lady Muskies Find the Winning Formula against Monmouth
Xavier women's basketball used a balanced offense and a strong second-half performance to pull away from Monmouth, 61-45, on Wednesday afternoon at Cintas Center. The Musketeers improved to 6-3 on the year while the Hawks moved to 4-4.

XU Women Overcome By Turnovers
Xavier women’s basketball dropped its second straight contest, falling in non-conference action at Middle Tennessee State, 90-68, on Sunday afternoon at the Murphy Center. A season-high 27 turnovers proved costly for the Musketeers (5-3) as the Blue Raiders (4-2) converted the miscues into 40 points.

X Picks Up Big OT Win Against RMU
Xavier women's basketball picked up a 70-65 overtime win against Northeast Conference preseason favorite Robert Morris on Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center. The Musketeers improve to 5-1 on the year.

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