Xavier beats Temple despite missing Davis
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Travis Taylor made two free throws with 11 seconds left, and Xavier ended its longest losing streak in 31 years by beating Temple 57-52 on Thursday night despite missing point guard Dee Davis for most of the game.
Davis hurt his left wrist in a pile-up with 7:15 left in the first half and went for X-rays. He returned with a minute left and missed two free throws, but got the final rebound.
Xavier (8-6, 1-0 Atlantic 10) wore its special gray uniforms, trying to snap a four-game losing streak. It was the Musketeers' deepest slump since they dropped seven straight during the 1981-82 season.
They've led during the second half of five of their six losses. Three times, they let double-digit leads slip away down the stretch, done in by turnovers, fouls and missed shots.
They held on against Temple (10-4, 0-1), which shot only 33.9 percent (20 of 59) from the field and couldn't overcome an 11-point deficit in the final 8 minutes. Anthony Lee had 15 for the Owls and Scootie Randall added 12.
Semaj Christon had 16 points for Xavier, which dominated the boards 42-31 against the taller Owls and overcame 10 second-half turnovers with its point guard missing. Taylor had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Xavier's already thin bench took another big hit when Davis landed hard on his left arm and sat on the court holding his forearm. He went for X-rays and didn't return until the final minute.
Davis played only 10 minutes and finished with three assists and three points. Walk-on Landen Amos played a career-high 16 minutes in his place.
Xavier was aggressive from the outset, pulling ahead 20-12 behind its front line. Randall provided most of Temple's offense early. He hit four of his first five shots, scoring 11 of its first 19 points.
After losing its point guard, Xavier held on for a 29-26 halftime lead by dominating inside. Xavier scored 25 of its 29 points in the point.
Temple went on a nine-point run to start the second half by taking the ball inside, getting three layups and three free throws for a 35-29 lead, its biggest of the game.
Martin made a 15-foot jumper and a 3-pointer that put Xavier back ahead to stay 38-35. Christon hit a bank shot, and Brad Redford made consecutive 3s during a 10-point run that gave Xavier its biggest lead, 48-37, with 8:45 to go -- another chance to hold onto a double-digit lead down the stretch.
The Owls cut it to 54-52 with 1:30 left, but couldn't make another shot, missing a couple of open 3-pointers.