Photo Credit – ESPN
In the Championship game of the Advocare Invitational, emotions were running high because of a rivalry game that hadn’t been played since 2013, the year the Xavier Musketeers left the Atlantic 10 and headed to the New Big East. Xavier came out very poised and on fire in every facet of the game leading to a 90 to 61 drubbing of the Dayton Flyers. The 90 points that Xavier scored were the most points given up by a Dayton Flyer team coached by Archie Miller. Dayton trailed at the half by only 8 points, 43-35, but that deficit would balloon as Xavier used a 21-0 run early in the second half to completely take control of the game. The Flyers looked depleted as Xavier seemed to not miss any shots early in the half and it just kept getting worse. Finally, the Flyers would break this run with 11:58 to go when Kendall Pollard drove the lane and slammed one home making it 68-41. Archie Miller seemed to use most of the second half of this game as a teaching tool. He put a few odd lineups on the floor, one of them being all freshmen and sophomore guard Darrell Davis which is something that we had not seen all year. In the scheme of all things, this game doesn’t mean a whole lot. Sure, it was a rivalry game that hadn’t been played in 2 years, but in theory it is just a loss to a better team. Flyer fans should not panic as November losses to ranked teams don’t mean a whole lot, but that was just tough to watch. One thing that made this game unwatchable is the fact that the refs like to take over college games nowadays. Obviously, the refs didn’t really play a large part in this game, but there were 28 fouls called in the first half and 55 called overall. In today’s game, a touch foul is constantly called and it destroys the flow of the game. You have to tip your hat to X though. I would’ve never expected this outcome. They were obviously the better team and came out ready to play. They were ball hawking on defense and running their offense very smoothly producing a ton of quality shots. After the game, Chris Mack, Xavier’s coach, was asked if this rivalry would continue some day and his answer to this was “maybe.”
Xavier was 52.4% (33-63) from the field, 42.1% (8-19) from the three, and an abysmal 57.1% (16-28) from the line but that doesn’t really matter when you win by 29. The Musketeers dominated the glass by pulling down 40 rebounds. They assisted on 16 of their shots and turned the ball over 13 times. They also swatted 4 shots and had 9 steals. 6 Musketeers scored in double figures led by freshman guard Edmond Sumner who scored 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting in 24 minutes. Sophomore guard Trevon Bluiett and junior guard Myles Davis each totaled points while senior guard Remy Abell, junior forward Jalen Reynolds, and sophomore guard J.P. Macura each had 11 points.
The Flyers shot 40.9% (18-44) from the field, 25% (4-16) from the three, and 65.6% (21-32) from the line. Dayton was outrebounded for the first time this season as they only grabbed 26 boards. They had another awful assist to turnover ratio as they only assisted on 9 shots and turned the ball over 22 times. The Flyers blocked 2 shots and had 7 steals. Junior forward Kendall Pollard led the way for the Flyers with 15 points in 30 minutes but only made 7 of 14 free throws and turned the ball over 5 times. Junior guard Scoochie Smith managed 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 33 minutes. Junior forward Charles Cooke played his worst game as a Flyer to date as he was 2 for 7 from the field with only 5 points and 4 boards. The Flyers were dominated in second chance points (17-2), points off turnovers (27-13), and points in the paint (46-26).
Xavier hosts Western Kentucky on Saturday at 8:30PM.
The Flyers will return home to play North Florida on Saturday at 2PM.
Alex Handorf ’17