I’m a man committed to leisurely pursuits. Words like grit, hustle and effort don’t really have any use in my vocabulary. That being said, like titillatingly terrific hardcore pornography, I know it when I see it. And boy, do I see it.
For those of you who watched the game, you already know what I’m about to say. Call it whatever you want: out-manned, out-hustled, out-efforted, it really doesn’t matter. Dayton simply didn’t bring any physicality to the ball game. Our Overlords hit the glass like it was the only thing that mattered and, when the dust settled, it was. The Muskies out-rebounded the Cagers by an astonishing 36-18 margin, resulting in THIRTY FIVE second-chance points for Chris Mack’s club.
Somebody told me at halftime one of the refd actually SHITTED there pants thats why its only 2 out there. No lie, I cant make that up
— They call me Weez (@C_Weez) January 31, 2013
This particular X squad struggles offensively, but UD’s lack of an interior presence made it easier on them, letting them off the hook time and time again. Accordingly, Xavier scored 42 of their 66 points inside the paint, the sort of squared circle where boys need not apply. If UD took care of business inside, the Flyers probably walk away with a fairly comfortable victory. Instead, it was an Iron Sheik-like humbling. Only Hulk Hogan, and maybe the Ultimate Warrior, can sympathize with our Flyers tonight.
In something of an annual tradition, UD was maybe a play or two away from securing a victory. Dayton actually took a one-point lead late in the game on a Dyshawn Pierre three-pointer with just 2:47 left in the contest. X responded with, what else, a putback from Jeff Robinson to retake a one-point lead. UD was not out of gas however, as Jalen Robinson connected on a little hook in the lane to regain the advantage for UD.
Semaj Christon, X’s lone consistent offensive threat, a freshman, channeled his inner-Jordan Crawford, draining a step-back fifteen footer with Devin Oliver draped all over him. Kevin Dillard, a senior (an old one at that) then responded with a rushed, selfish runner from the elbow that came up just short, resulting in Travis Taylor being fouled after grabbing the rebound.
Then, a sequence which seemed to encapsulate the evening’s proceedings unfolded. Taylor, a 61% foul shooter entering the game, missed the front end of the one-and-one. The loose ball was gobbled up by Jeff Robinson, who kicked it out to Dee Davis, who was eventually fouled by Kevin Dillard. Davis sank both his freebies, a Matty Derenbecker three-pointer spun out and, as the legend was preordained, X walked away with a deserved 66-61 victory.
You only needed to watch that final minute of the game to understand why X won in the end. They snagged every loose ball and took advantage of Dayton at every turn. The more talented team lost, but then again talent is rarely an indicator of success in this series, especially in Cincinnati. You’ll never hear me say this again, simply due to the simplistic nature of the cliché, but Xavier just wanted it more.
Archie Miller on the last shot: “The Basketball Gods don’t reward you when you don’t deserve to win”
— Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) January 31, 2013
28 in a row. Are you fucking kidding me? No, I am not fucking kidding you. Not sure where this ranks on UD’s all-time gut-punches against Xavier, but I think it safely resides somewhere in the top three. This was as beatable a Xavier team as we are likely to encounter for the foreseeable future, and UD still couldn’t piece together enough of an effort to come out on top. I will see a gay Mexican president before I see a UD victory in the Queen City. I’ve come to accept that. You should too.