No. 23 Xavier Routs Alabama Despite 1st Half Woes, Advances To Semi-Finals Of Advocare Invitational
Photo courtesy of Willie J. Allen Jr. and AP Photo.

No. 23 Xavier Routs Alabama Despite 1st Half Woes, Advances To Semi-Finals Of Advocare Invitational

15 points by Trevon Bluiett and 14 from J.P. Macura led 23rd ranked Xavier to the semi-finals of the 2015 Advocare Invitational.

Peyton Wesner

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA---"I have never seen this many airballs in all my life!"

To kick off this year's Advocare Invitational (tenth tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports), the 23th ranked Xavier Musketeers took on Avery Johnson's Alabama Crimson Tide looking to build onto last Friday's win in Ann Arbor against Michigan. They didn't have too much trouble doing so.

Although Shannon Hale rolled Alabama to a 9-2 lead with five quick points, the Musketeers' J.P. Macura woke his team from their morning slumber with energy off the bench, propelling them in a 12-4 spurt to steal a 14-13 lead at the 5:58 mark. Yes, the score and time is not a typo. As alluded, both teams shot horribly to start their time in "City Beautiful." Specifically, both teams were missing wide open dunks in addition to forcing long-range threes that weren't even close! Thankfully (for the fans' sake), both teams eventually found their "sea legs" as they combined for 20 points in the last 4:30 to end the half with the score of 27-24 Xavier.

Because of a buzzer beating three pointer by Hale to end the half, the viewing audience figured Alabama would come out with momentum. The following was not the case.

Starting with Trevon Bluiett draining a trey for three of his game-high fifteen points, Xavier started a 20-8 burst to increase their lead to 15 (47-32). Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, the deficit did not stay put, for the Musketeers continued their dominance in route to a 64-45 win.

Defense Wins Championships

After allowing the Crimson Tide to 24 points in the first half, the Musketeers made a statement by holding their opponent to 13 points heading into the under four TV timeout! Additionally, Mack's 1-3-1 zone completely neutralized Alabama's leading scorer Retin Obasohan by holding him to zero points on 0-6 shooting from the floor! Xavier will take on the winner of Wichita State/USC tomorrow at 2:30 PM EST. Coverage of tomorrow's matchup as well as all contests from the HP Field House in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, can be found on VAVEL US.

Today's Remaining Advocare Invitational Action

2:30 PM EST
2-1 20. Wichita State - 4-0 USC (ESPN2)

Players to Watch:
Wichita State:
Ron Baker (SR)
---20.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, & 1.7 SPG
Jordan McLaughlin (SO)
---20.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, & 1.3 SPG.

6:30 PM EST
3-0 17. Notre Dame - 2-1 Monmouth (ESPNU)

Players to Watch:
Notre Dame:
Demetrius Jackson (JR)
---20.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.0 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
Justin Robinson (JR)
---24.0 PPG, 3.3 APG, & 4.3 SPG.

9:00 PM EST
3-0 Iowa - 3-0 Dayton (ESPN2)

Players to Watch:
Jarrod Uthoff (SR)
---16.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, & 2.0 SPG.
Charles Cooke (JR)
---15.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, & 1.3 BPG.