Thursday, March 07, 2013

Travis Taylor, Xavier End St. Louis' 11-Game Win Streak with 77-66 Victory

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Upsets were everywhere in the college hoops universe Wednesday night, as five ranked teams went down to defeat.

The biggest surprise of the evening came from Philadelphia, where the Villanova Wildcats knocked off #5 Georgetown, 67-57, ending the Hoyas' 11-game winning streak and throwing next week's Big East tourney into a condition f total chaos.

Louisville, Marquette and Georgetown are tied for the regular season lead at 13-4, with one game remaining. Georgetown faces Syracuse on Saturday to close out the season. The Wildcats improved to 10-8 in the conference and have now defeated three different Top 5 teams this season, Georgetown joining Syracuse and Louisville on the victim list.

In the Big Ten, Iowa State downed #13 Oklahoma State, 87-76; the ACC suddenly became more competitive as Georgia Tech won at #6 Miami, 71-69; and the PAC-12 saw Washington State defeat UCLA, 73-61.

But there may be no more competitive a conference than the Atlantic-10, where Xavier took out #16 St. Louis in overtime, 77-66, as 6'8" senior forward Travis Taylor pumped in 19 points and ripped down 19 rebounds in one of the top efforts of the season.

Taylor was 6-for-11 from the field and 7-for-9 from the charity stripe, getting all of his points inside, punishing the Billikens on both ends of the court. Four of his 19 boards came on the offensive end in a game that was a total war in the paint. St. Louis record 16 offensive boards to Xavier's 11, but the Billikens could only must a 30% shooting mark for the game, getting off 19 more shots than the Musketeers, who hit at a 42% rate.

The win ended an 11-game St. louis winning streak and left the Billikens tied with VCU (a 93-82 winner over Richmond) atop the A-10 standings at 12-3. Xavier, keeping alive hopes for an NCAA bid, improved to 9-6 in the conference and 17-12 overall.

The Billikens close out their regular season at home vs. LaSalle on Saturday, while #21 VCU travels to Temple for their last A-10 game.

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