Xavier 84, DePaul 74 - The Musketeers blasted out to a 50-32 halftime lead on the back of a 19 point effort from Semaj Christon. The stellar sophomore was backed up by 14 points from Justin Martin as well. DePaul came out of the locker room with two significant changes. First, they started trapping all over the court, which worked as they forced 13 Xavier turnovers in the second half. Second, Brandon Young did not play even one minute in the second half after playing 14 minutes in the first. Young was effective in the first 20 minutes, scoring seven points on 3-6 shooting, grabbing two rebounds, handing out two assists, and snaring three steals. But something happened in the locker room, and Oliver Purnell didn't like something about his senior guard.
The two moves by Purnell worked, as the Blue Demons cut the lead down to eight points with just less than 14 minutes to play. But DePaul couldn't get over the hump. They could only get the lead down to seven points on two different occasions for the rest of the game, and a 7-0 consisting of five free throws and an Erik Stenger layup broke the game back open to a 15 point Musketeer lead.
The game was foul-tastic, with a combined 48 fouls called and 68 free throws attempted. But somehow, SOMEHOW, no one fouled out of the game. Christon led all scorers with 27 points, while Cleveland Melvin had 25 points to lead the Blue Demons. Go check out Banners on the Parkway for more on this game.
Here's some highlights, courtesy of Xavier Athletics:
RV/#24 Creighton 96, #4/#5 Villanova 68 - Ethan Wragge happened. I wish I could find the video of Fox Sports Live counting off each of Wragge's SEVEN straight made threes to open the game with a counter in the corner and a bell ringing each time, moving him to within a point of his career high in just the first six minutes of the game, but this video of Creighton's NINE straight threes to open the game will have to do.
Sweet Christmas. Creighton would lead by as many as 41 in the second half as the Bluejays set a Big East record for three pointers made with 21. Wragge led all scorers with his career best 27 points on 9-14 shooting, all behind the arc. Head over to White and Blue Review or VU Hoops for more on the game.