Xavier 64, Memphis 62

Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Travis Taylor scored 18 points and Isaiah Philmore added 15 as short-handed Xavier ended No. 19 Memphis' 18-game winning streak with a 64-62 victory at Cintas Center.
Memphis (24-4) lost for the first time since Dec. 15 against Louisville. The loss also snapped a seven-game road winning streak, longest in the nation.
Freshman Semaj Christon added 13 points for Xavier (16-11) which was playing without starting point guard Dee Davis and Landon Amos, a junior walk-on who contributes off the bench. As a result, Philmore made his first start in nearly two months.
Geron Johnson led Memphis with 14 points. Joe Jackson had 14.
Brad Redford's 3-pointer with 1:46 left put Xavier ahead 58-57. Chris Crawford, who scored 10 points for Memphis, missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.
Redford, who finished with 10 points, hit a pair of free throws which appeared to ice the victory with 14.4 seconds left. But the Tigers still had a chance, trailing by two points with Stephens at the line with 0.7 seconds left.
Stephens hit the first free throw. But his intentionally-missed second attempt did not hit the rim, giving possession back to Xavier to end it.
Memphis trailed by 11 points at halftime but fought back early in the second half with consecutive dunks by Stephens. The Tigers then struggled to contain Taylor whose follow-up slam gave XU a 37-26 lead.
Memphis hit five of six 3-pointers, including three by Johnson, to take its first lead, 50-49 with 6:25 left.
It was the second straight game that Xavier watched a double-digit lead evaporate in the second half. The Musketeers blew a 17-point lead in a loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday.
Without Davis, Xavier needed offensive contributions from several players. And it was Taylor who asserted himself early on, scoring 11 of Xavier's first 14 points.
He was 5-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds before picking up his second foul with 8:16 left and remaining on the bench for the rest of the first half.
The Musketeers outrebounded Memphis 26-15 in the first half Tuesday.
Redford's 3-pointer put XU ahead 19-10. The consecutive baskets by Philmore made the score 25-15.
Xavier, which committed 22 turnovers in Saturday's loss to VCU, had just five in the first half Tuesday despite playing without Davis, its best ball-handler.
Memphis shot 33-percent in the first half and went scoreless for more than six minutes while the Musketeers built as much as a 12-point lead.
NOTES: Davis did not play Tuesday. Davis still was feeling the effects of a head-to-head collision with 13:35 remaining in Saturday's loss to VCU. Davis is expected to return for Saturday's game against UMass. ... Xavier junior forward Isaiah Philmore made his first start since Jan. 2 at Wake Forest. ... Tuesday's game was Memphis' latest regular season non-conference game since Mar. 2, 1994 when the Tigers hosted Southeast Missouri. ... Tigers coach Josh Pastner remained one victory shy of 100 for his career.

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