Xavier Defenseless in Loss to Arizona State
In the championship round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas, the Xavier Musketeers faced the hot handed Arizona State Sun Devils. The Musketeers came up short in a high scoring affair that saw Arizona State walk out with a 102-86 and their first regular season trophy of the year. JP Macura's season high 23 points weren't enough as Xavier falls to 5-1 on the season.
The first half of the matchup saw both teams set the tone of a high scoring affair. Macura led a balanced attack for the Musketeers that saw both Naji Marshall and Karem Kanter give solid minutes to keep Xavier close as Senior Arizona State guard Tra Holder dropped 14 points in the final 12 minutes of the as Xavier took a 46-44 lead into the locker room at half.
The second half was all Sun Devils. Everything the Muskies threw at the Devils, it was thrown right back. Whether is was a Tyrique Jones dunk countered by a De'Quon Lake dunk on the other end or Kodi Justice's back to back threes to at the 16 minute mark, the Sun Devils were not shook by being the underdog. Tra Holder looked to play the part of the All-American as he finished with 40 as Trevon Bluiett struggled to get any rhythm going as he was held to 11 points on 4-10 shooting. Down the stretch, Xavier looked overmatched and did their best to mince the blowout; ultimately falling by 16 at the end.
This was a splash of cold water to the face for the Muskies. The team looked depleted and the defensive end was reminiscent of a sieve as ASU shot over 55 percent from the field and 48 percent from long range. However, even good teams can lose but the great ones bounce back. Xavier will look to do just this as they welcome the 22nd ranked Baylor Bears to Cintas on Tuesday.