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Xavier staves off Eastern Kentucky in OT


Nate Johnson hit consecutive 3-pointers in overtime to lift host Xavier to a 99-96 nonconference win over Eastern Kentucky on Monday night in Cincinnati.

The Colonels led 88-85 when Johnson drilled the tying 3-pointer in transition with 2:39 left to even the score. On the Musketeers' next possession, Johnson got a pass in the left corner from Zach Freemantle and drilled the go-ahead jumper for the last of his 18 points.

Freemantle's jump hook with 1:02 remaining beat the shot clock and made it 93-88, but Eastern Kentucky (2-1) didn't fold. It appeared to tie the game when the officials signaled that Jomaru Brown banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1.8 seconds left, but they reversed the call when replay revealed both feet were on the line.

KyKy Tandy made two foul shots with 1.1 seconds left, and a desperation midcourt heave came after time expired, enabling the Musketeers to up their record to 4-0.

Freemantle led four players in double figures with 24 points and 13 rebounds for Xavier, while Tre King scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 13 boards for the Colonels. King forced overtime when he drained a stepback 24-footer from the left wing over Freemantle with 0.3 seconds left in regulation.

The game's script was set early. When Eastern Kentucky's full-court pressure defense was able to force turnovers, it usually led to points. When Xavier avoided turnovers, it was able to get good shots and score almost at will.

Cooper Robb hit a couple of 3-pointers in the first 3:41 to get the Colonels off to a 10-9 lead, and the game basically stayed even for the first 11-plus minutes. Another trey by Robb at the 8:55 mark squared the score at 26.

The Musketeers controlled the half's remainder as they executed and converted shots. Freemantle's 3-pointer with 3:49 left gave them their first double-figures lead at 45-34, and a dunk by King off a turnover with 5.6 seconds remaining to made it 48-39 at intermission.

--Field Level Media

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