Xavier Musketeers hope Matt Stainbrook's knee injury won't end his season

6-10 center goes down hard in loss to Seton Hall

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The Xavier Musketeers are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping they didn't lose injured center Matt Stainbrook for the rest of the season.

Stainbrook collapsed to the floor with a knee injury in the first half of the Musketeers' 71-62 loss to Seton Hall Monday night.

The 6-10 junior came down hard on his left leg after being fouled taking a shot inside with 8:02 left in the first half. He screamed in pain as he clutched his left knee.

He was on the floor for a couple of minutes and had to be helped to the locker room.

An MRI was planned for Tuesday and coach Chris Mack said he hoped it would not reveal a major injury. Stainbrook left the locker room on crutches and could not put any weight on his leg.

Stainbrook has been the team's leading rebounder (7.8) and third leading scorer (10.6).

Two days before, the Musketeers were on the highest high after knocking off No. 9 Creighton before a record home crowd.  With Stainbrook' s injury and a stunning loss to a Seton Hall team on three-game losing streak, Monday may have been their lowest low.

The Musketeers trailed by as many as 14 points, scored a season-low 20 points in the first half, shot 30 percent  against Seton Hall's zone defense and hit just  3-for-22 shooting from 3-point range.

Semaj Christon tried to lead a comeback, scoring 24 of his career-high matching 28 points in the second half. Isaiah Philmore added 11 points and nine rebounds for Xavier (20-10, 10-7 Big East).

Christon single-handedly got Xavier back into the game, hitting his first seven shots of the half. It helped cut a 13-point deficit to 57-52 when he hit two free throws with 5:24 to go.

The Musketeers trapped guard Jaren Sina in the backcourt and he fell to the floor after some contact. There was no call and the Pirates got the ball upcourt quickly with Fuquan Edwin finishing with a three-point play. It ignited a 9-2 spurt and the game was basically decided.

Brian Oliver hit five 3-pointers and scored 20 points to lead Seton Hall. Edwin and Eugene Teague added 17 points apiece as the Pirates (15-15, 6-11) completed a sweep of the Musketeers.

Xavier seemed to go into shock into Stainbrook's injury.

The Pirates took over in the final eight minutes of the first half, outscoring the Musketeers 16-6 with Teague dominating inside and Oliver hitting from the outside.

Teague started the run with two free throws and Oliver followed with a 3-pointer and two more free throws to push the lead to 23-14.

After Xavier made consecutive baskets, Teague scored inside, Oliver hit a 3-pointer, Teague made a free throw and Oliver made his third 3-pointer of the half for a 32-18 lead.


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