CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Justin Martin had 19 points and 16 rebounds and Semaj Christon added 21 points as Xavier upended No. 9 Creighton in BIG EAST basketball action on Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati by a 75-69 score.
Creighton (23-5, 13-3 BIG EAST) trailed for much of the game, leading only 2-0 and 12-11. Xavier went ahead 24-18, only to have Creighton answer with treys by Grant Gibbs and Ethan Wragge during an 8-2 run to knot the score with 6:34 left. Xavier (20-9, 10-6 BIG EAST) answered, going ahead on a Martin basket and Christon breakaway lay-up and never looked back.
Martin had a double-double by halftime with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Christon had 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting and Dee Davis nine points and four assists thanks to 3-for-3 marksmanship from deep. Creighton was led at half by 11 points and six rebounds by Doug McDermott.
McDermott did his best to carry the Jays in the second half, scoring CU's first 11 points, but Martin and Christon helped the Musketeers push the lead to 55-42.
Creighton continued to chip away, drawing within 61-58 on a McDermott trey with 5:22 left to quiet the Cintas Center record crowd of 10,483. But Xavier would counter with a hoop by Myles Davis and a three-ball by Dee Davis to assume a 68-60 lead with 2:05 remaining.
CU got within 70-64 with 1:20 left, then forced a shot clock violation, but missed a three-point try to halve the deficit and would not get within five again.
McDermott had his fifth double-double of the year and 35th of his career, finishing with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow Bluejay seniors Wragge and Gibbs both scored nine in a supporting role. Creihgton shot 39 percent for the game and made just 10-of-34 three-point shots.
Xavier was led by 21 from Christon, 19 from Martin and 15 from Dee Davis, who sank 4-of-5 three-point tries. The Musketeers shot an even 50 percent from the feild (27-54) and were 9-of-16 from three-point land.
Creighton will stay on the road, heading to Washington, D.C., tonight, to prep for Tuesday's 6:02 pm game at Georgetown.
NOTES: Xavier improved to 15-1 at home this season ...Austin Chatman's three steals tied a career-high ...Doug McDermott's 12 shots from three-point range were a career-high ...Justin Martin's previous high for rebounds was 12 at Tennessee on Dec. 29, 2012 ...Creighton fell into second place of the BIG EAST, one-half game behind idle Villanova ...Doug McDermott now owns 2,944 career points, seven behind Danny Manning for a share of ninth-place all-time ...McDermott's five three-pointers give him 249 in his career, passing Ryan Sears for third in CU history behind only Kyle Korver and Ethan Wragge ...Freshman guard Isaiah Zierden was injured midway through the first half with what was diagnosed as a dislocated patellar tendon (kneecap) in his right knee. He will have an MRI when the team gets to Washington, D.C. for further evaluation.
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