RICHMOND, Va. - The Xavier men's basketball team suffered a 73-71 Atlantic 10 road loss to Richmond on Saturday at the Robbins Center despite a career-high effort from senior Travis Taylorand a huge scoring difference in the paint.
The Musketeers (12-9, 5-3 A-10) received 24 points from Taylor and outscored the Spiders (14-9, 4-4 A-10) by a 40-14 advantage in the lane. Freshman Semaj Christon scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half and junior Isaiah Philmorereturned from an ankle injury to contribute 10 points.
Xavier shot its second-best percentage of the season in the loss with a 24-of-40 (60 percent) effort from the floor. The Musketeers capitalize on 3-of-8 from outside and shot 20-of-31 (64.5 percent) from the charity stripe.
After falling behind in the first half the Musketeers rallied before the break and created a back-and-forth battle that went down to the final possessions of the game. Xavier's third league road game in four contests featured nine ties and 15 leads changes.
The Musketeers' biggest lead of the ballgame was three and came at the 5:46 mark in the second half on a 3-pointer from sophomore Dee Davis. Xavier held that lead for just over two minutes as the Spiders nailed their eighth 3-pointer of the game to take the lead for good.
Xavier kept it close but couldn't force a stop when it needed it the most. Taylor also went to the line twice very late in the game with two free-throw chances in which he needed to miss the last and hope for an offensive rebound.
Unfortunately both his attempt went in - the first banking off the glass and the second line drive rattling in the rim before falling in - and the Musketeers ran out of time.
The Musketeers will have a week off before they travel to face Duquesne at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Kendall Anthony led Richmond with 16 points and was one of five Spiders to reach double figures. The Spiders finished the game shooting 20-of-41 (48.8 percent) overall and went 8-of-21 (38.1 percent) from behind the arc. Richmond went 25-of-31 from the free-throw line.
Taylor carried the Musketeers with an absolutely monster first-half that included 15 points, four dunks and reached the halfway point to double-figure rebounds. He finished the game with eight rebounds.
Xavier trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half but a spirited effort by the Musketeers' post players made it a one-point game after 20 minutes.
Taylor had four thunderous dunks and Robinson threw in a one-handed put back that contributed to Xavier's 24-8 advantage on points in the paint. Unfortunately the Spiders were hitting on more than half of their 3-point attempts that accounted for 18 points. Redford nailed the only long-ball for Xavier in the opening period.
The Musketeers trailed 20-9 when the Musketeers put together a 9-2 run to pull back into the contest. Xavier shot 58 percent (14-of-24) from the floor and went 1-of-5 from behind the arc. The Spiders had a 52 percent (12-of-23) shooting percentage and hit on 6-of-13 shots from outside.