Xavier breaks away from Wake Forest 68-53
CINCINNATI (AP) — Matt Stainbrook scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Xavier Musketeers rolled to a 68-53 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.
James Farr added 13 points and Semaj Christon finished with 12 for the Musketeers, who led by as many as 22 points while holding the Demon Deacons to their lowest point total of the season. Wake Forest set the previous low in a 59-51 win over North Carolina-Greensboro in its last game on December 21.
Codi Miller-McIntyre led the Demon Deacons with 11 points and Coron Williams added 10 — all in the first half.
Stainbrook’s double-double was his third of the season. Before a crowd of 10,064, the Musketeers finished their non-conference schedule with a 10-3 record, their best since going 11-2 in the 2008-2009 season, and will take a five-game winning streak into their first Big East Conference opener, which is scheduled for noon Tuesday against St. John’s at Xavier.
The Demon Deacons (10-3) saw their winning streak snapped at four games in their last non-conference game of the season. They are scheduled to open Atlantic Coast Conference play on January 5 at home against No. 19 North Carolina.
The first game for both teams since December 21 was the fourth of a 10-year series between the two schools honoring the late Skip Prosser, who coached Xavier before taking the Wake Forest job. He died of a heart attack at the age of 56 in 2007.
After five ties and eight lead changes, Xavier ended the first half on a 20-3 run, holding the Demon Deacons without a field goal for the last 9:30 of the half. Christon started the run with a 3-pointer, giving the Musketeers a 25-24 lead, and scored eight points during the Xavier surge.
Wake Forest committed eight of its 10 first-half turnovers in that stretch.