Xavier's stellar start to the season continued today as the Musketeers rolled past the Crimson Tide of Alabama by a score of 64-45 in the first round of the Advocare Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Chris Mack's team has been off to a great run so far this season, and today's win demonstrated just how good this team is and can be going forward. The scoreline, though, was interesting for this game, given that heading into today Xavier was averaging around 80 points a game and their opponents were averaging around 68.5 points against the Musketeers, today's scoreline was a significant departure from that trend.
The key to the game for Xavier was the second half, as the first half saw them build a good lead, but nothing to pull away with. The second half saw Xavier take flight as Trevon Bluiett would lead the charge going for 10 points in the second half on 4-of-6 shooting and finishing the day with game leading 15 points. His efforts were followed up by that of JP Macura, who was the leading scorer in the first half for the Musketeers, and finished with 14 points on the day. Jalen Reynolds also had a solid day with a near double-double performance, but fell short by just one more rebound and in the end finished with 10 points and a game leading nine rebounds.
As a team, Xavier shot 39% from all areas of the floor, 30% from the beyond the three point arc, and 60% from the foul line. They also won the battle on the boards with 47 rebounds to Alabama's 31, and, in terms of points production, had outpaced Alabama in all or most areas.
The two leading scorers for the Crimson Tide were Justin Coleman and Shannon Hale, both of whom finished with 10 points on the day, but overall it was a tough outing for Alabama's players on the floor against Xavier. As a team the Crimson Tide shot 31% from all areas of the floor, 18% from beyond the three point arc, and 60% from the foul line.
Xavier now moves onto the next round of the Advocare Invitational, where they'll face USC on Friday afternoon.