Sunday, November 11, 2007
The Musketeers scored the game's first 10 points and rolled to a 90-59 victory.
CINCINNATI -- Going on the road and facing a team that many consider to be one of the top 30 in the country is enough of a challenge. But when you're outscored by 19 points before the first TV timeouts in both halves, that all but nullifies the chances of pulling off an upset.
Such was the case for Southeast Missouri State on Saturday night as Xavier rolled to a 90-59 victory over the Redhawks at the Cintas Center.
"We started off down 10-0 early and adjusted," Southeast coach Scott Edgar said. "It was still a game at halftime and I told the guys the only way we were going to win the game was if we won the second half."
Xavier led throughout and had the lead in the double-digits by the time Roderick Pearson put Southeast on the board with a layup with 17:13 remaining. During the Musketeers' 10-0 run, the Redhawks missed their first four shots from the field and a pair of free throws. Southeast got within 15-6 on a Marcus Rhodes jumper, before the Musketeers regained control.
"I liked the way we started the game by attacking and throwing that first punch, so to speak, and setting the tone early," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "Now our challenge is to do that in the remaining games the rest of the season."
The Musketeers, who have won their last 18 regular-season openers, led 46-30 at halftime. They then went on a 13-3 run to begin the second half to really put things away. At one point, Xavier led by as many as 36 points.
"We came out a little slow in the second half," said Pearson, who led Southeast with 13 points, including a 6-of-8 night from the field. "We tried to play hard and left everything on the court. This is a good way to prepare us for the rest of the season."
Two areas where Xavier really dominated Southeast was rebounding and second-chance points. The RedHawks were outrebounded 52-34 and were outscored 26-11 on second-chance points. Xavier held a 27-12 advantage on the offensive boards.
Xavier scored 32 points off 20 SEMO turnovers and were 11 of 32 on 3-pointers. The Musketeers two leading scorers -- Josh Duncan (16 points) and B.J. Raymond (15 points) -- made four 3-pointers apiece. Derrick Brown (15), Stanley Burrell (14) and C.J. Anderson (13 points, 9 rebounds) were also in double figures.
"A lot of our turnovers were unforced and we made some bad decisions," Edgar said. "We had the right game plan defensively, playing a lot of zone, and they are a good team shooting 3-pointers."
While Southeast's Brandon Foust (7 points) and Jaycen Herring (4 points) struggled, freshman Will Bogan had a nice debut with a game-high 10 rebounds and 7 points. Marcus Rhodes was the only other player in double figures for Southeast with 11 points.
"He proved tonight that he has the capabilities of being an outstanding player," said Edgar of Bogan. "Not many Atlantic 10 players, especially freshmen, will be able to come into Xavier and pull down double-digit rebounds."
Saturday's game marked a first-round contest in the Chicago Invitational Challenge. The Redhawks' next game is Tuesday at Illinois State before its home opener Friday against Culver-Stockton.