The Xavier Musketeers rallied to beat an old rival but a young team 63-60.
The Evansville Purple Aces from Xavier's past in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, appeared to run away with the game, building a 13-point lead in the second half before Xavier 7-3, rallied.
Semaj Christon scored three of his game-high 19 points on a conventional three-point play to cut the deficit to 10. He followed with a layup and Miles Davis hit a 3-point shot to cut it to six.
It was the Xavier defense that allowed the Musketeers to rally.
"They (Xavier) amped up their defense," Evansville coach Marty Simmons said. "We made mistakes but I don't fault our players on the way they played. They played hard for 40 minutes."
Evansville (6-4) has no seniors and a freshman point guard in Duane G4ibson from Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph. Though not as famous as fellow alumnus LeBron James, Gibson has been asked to do a lot for the Purple Aces. He was hampered by foul trouble.
Evansville's leading scorer is sophomore guard D.J. Ballentine who averaged nearly 25 points a game.
Ballentine scored just two points in the first half but finished with a team-high 15 points.
Matt Stainbrook scored 10 points and gathered 15 rebounds for the Musketeers.
Christon, who struggled from the foul line early this season made 13-of-17 for the game to lead Xavier all the way back.
"I just stayed aggressive," Christon said. "I try to play downhill and hopefully the refs give me the call. They trust me to make plays."
Christon has concentrated on his free throw shooting coming into the game.
"It’s paying off a little bit. I missed a couple later in the game," Christon said.
The Musketeers were frustrated by Evansville's defense early and needed to adjust.
"They play the way we used to play when I was there," said Xavier coach Chris Mack, who was recruited by Evansville out of St. Xavier High School but later transferred to Xavier. "They pack the middle and choose the player they want to shoot. We had some open shots early in the game but hesitated. I'd like for us not to dig ourselves a hole at the beginning of games."
The Musketeers had to come from behind to beat Bowling Green State in overtime on Saturday.