A game-tying three-point shot by Brad Redfordwith just seconds remaining wasn't enough as Xavier dropped a 56-55 decision to Wofford on Saturday afternoon. Xavier, which was wearing specially made Nike uniforms in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary, falls to 7-4 and Wofford improves to 6-6.
It was a tale of two halves for the Musketeers, who scored 34 points in the first half and only added 21 points in the final 20 minutes. After building a 12-point lead at halftime, Xavier surrendered an 18-6 run to Wofford at the start of the second frame and found itself in a tie at 40-all.
The Terriers used a three by Spencer Collins and a jumper by Karl Cochran to give them a 51-47 advantage. Semaj Christonmade a driving runner in traffic to cut the Musketeers' deficit to two, 51-49. Collins knocked down a pair of free throws with 19 seconds remaining, but Redford canned a three-pointer to keep XU's chances intact.
Xavier fouled Lee Skinner who made both free throws of the resulting one-and-one and pushed the margin back to three points with 12 ticks left.
Christon took the inbounds pass and pushed the ball up the floor and shuffled it off to Redford, who knocked down yet another three to knot the game at 55. On the ensuing Wofford possession, XU was called for a foul and Skinner made the front end of the one-and-one, but missed the back end.
Christon raced up the sideline, attacked the basket and drew contact, but was called for a charging foul.
Travis Taylorled Xavier with a game-high-tying 20 points and a game-high 11 boards. The redshirt senior connected on 8-of-12 shots from the floor and went 4-for-5 from the charity stripe. Christon finished the game with 10 points and a game-high eight assists.
Xavier finished the game shooting 48 percent (22-of-46) and to Wofford's 36 percent (17-of-47). The Terriers won the battle at the free-throw line, connecting on 15-of-17 (88 percent). Meanwhile, the Musketeers only went 8-of-16.
Fifteen points and six rebounds from Taylor in the opening stanza helped XU build a 12-point halftime margin, 34-22. Christon chimed in six points and four assists as the Musketeers connected on 58 percent (14-of-24) of their shots. By comparison, Wofford was only able to connect on 38 percent (8-of-21) in the half.
Wofford was led by Cochran who tied Taylor's 20 points in the contest. Collins chipped in 17 for the Terriers.