Xavier forward Jalen Reynolds dunks the ball against Alabama in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl)
David Kohl
December 06, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) Two straight losses were all the motivation Xavier needed.

Myles Davis scored a career-high 18 points and the Musketeers snapped their modest losing streak with an easy 97-84 win over Alabama on Saturday night.

''We needed to get that losing taste out of our mouths,'' said the sophomore, who came off the bench to go 5 for 7 overall and 4 for 6 on 3-pointers while leading a Xavier to a 55-22 advantage in bench scoring. ''We had to get people respecting us and noticing us. We're starting to learn to take every game seriously. Every game has to be like our last game.''

J.P. Macura scored 13 points, Remy Abell and Jalen Reynolds added 12 and Dee Davis and Matt Stainbrook each finished with 10 for Xavier (6-2), which opened the season with five straight wins before losing to Texas-El Paso and Long Beach State in the Wooden Classic at Anaheim.

''I thought the difference in the game was the bench play,'' Xavier coach Chris Mack said. ''I think our team is getting back to playing well together.''

Ricky Tarrant scored a season-high 23 points and Levi Randolph scored 13 of his 15 in the second half for Alabama (5-2).

Shannon Hale scored 12 before fouling out with 8:02 left in the game for the Crimson Tide, which scored more points against Xavier than any other team this season.

''We're allergic to defense right now,'' Mack said. ''Let's talk about the offense.''

The game was marred by a combined 53 personal fouls, 29 on the visiting Crimson Tide. Each coach was whistled for a technical foul.

The Musketeers matched their season high in scoring. Alabama's previous season high in points allowed was in its first loss, giving up 84 to Iowa State on Nov. 24.

''If you look at the numbers we're giving up from defensive standpoint, it's hard to win,'' Alabama coach Anthony Grant said.

Xavier took its largest lead at 85-64 with 6:08 left when Reynolds' fifth dunk of the game delighted a sellout crowd of 10,250.

''Jalen is our energy guy,'' Abell said. ''He's our mean guy on the court. We need him like that. We need him wanting to dunk every ball.''

Abell, a transfer from Indiana who sat out last season, scored 11 in the first half to help Xavier lead by as many as 12 with 1:27 left before settling for a 41-30 halftime advantage. The Musketeers enjoyed a 17-6 lead in points off turnovers and a 20-5 advantage in points off the bench in the first half.

The bench scoring was crucial to the Musketeers, who lost leading scorer and rebounder Stainbrook for all but two minutes in the first half with foul trouble.

''Give Xavier credit,'' Grant said. ''When their big guy got into foul trouble, other guys stepped up.''



Alabama: The game was Alabama's first of the season on an opponent's home court.

Xavier: The game was the first of three against SEC teams out of the next four for the Musketeers, who are 12-4 against the SEC since the 2007-2008 season.


Alabama: The Crimson Tide is off for a week before facing Tennessee Tech in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

Xavier: The Musketeers stay home to take on IUPUI on Tuesday.


Levi Randolph has scored a combined 29 points in his last two games after erupting for a season-high 28 against Arizona State on Nov. 25. . Matt Stainbrook finished with the two fouls he was called for in the first two minutes. He played 12 minutes in the second half.

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