Christon has 20, Xavier beat Morehead State 79-56
The Musketeers (3-0) kept their momentum from a 67-63 win over Tennessee at the Cintas Center on Tuesday night. Xavier led 38-23 at the break and pulled away during a foul-filled second half. The officials called 56 fouls overall, and the teams combined for 68 free throws.
The Eagles (2-1) were trying for their first 3-0 start in 20 years, but couldn't make shots with any consistency against Xavier's man-to-man and zone defenses. Morehead State shot only 29 percent from the field. Chad Posthumus led the Eagles with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Matt Stainbrook had seven points and 10 rebounds for Xavier, which led by as many as 25 points.
Xavier was back to full strength with point guard Dee Davis in the starting lineup and forward Justin Martin coming off the bench.
Davis missed the first two games recovering from a concussion sustained during a preseason scrimmage. Coach Chris Mack opened with a three-guard offense. Freshman Brandon Randolph, who started the first two games in Davis' place, also was in the lineup along with Christon.
Martin, who missed the Tennessee game recovering from a blow to the head, checked in with 12:40 left in the first half. Martin finished with eight points and two rebounds.
Neither team got into a flow for the first 13 minutes, with no lead bigger than three points. Morehead State missed eight of its first nine shots while Xavier had three turnovers, two by Randolph.
Davis led Xavier's first spurt, hitting a floating bank shot and a 3-pointer during a 12-point run that pushed it to 24-15. Freshman forward Jalen Reynolds had four free throws and a tip-in during the run.
The Musketeers closed the half with a 14-2 spurt that included Martin's steal and three-point play for the 15-point halftime lead. The Eagles were only 5 of 27 from the field in the half.
Junior guard Angelo Warner was coming off his best game for Morehead State - a career-high 25 points and team-high 10 rebounds during a 71-63 win at East Tennessee State on Tuesday. He got only three shots in the first half and missed all of them.
Warner finished 0 for 6 from the field with five points on free throws.
The second half started ugly - 10 fouls, 10 points combined in first 4 minutes, 11 seconds - and turned into a slog of free-throw shooting. Xavier went 21 of 30 from the line overall, Morehead State 24 of 38.
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