Xavier‘s Travis Taylor had himself a game for the ages as his Musketeers took down the Saint Louis Billikens in overtime last night in Cincinnati, 77-66. With the loss, Saint Louis failed to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10.
Taylor had everything to do with it. The junior, who averages 12 points and nine rebounds per game, had a career-high 19 rebounds to go along with 19 points. Oh yeah, and for good measure he blocked six shots in 43 minutes of action. It was his ninth double-double of the season.
The senior is no stranger to big games. Though it was the fourth-highest scoring output for him this season, prior to arriving at Xavier in 2010, he was busy scorching the nets for the Monmouth Hawks. In his two seasons on the West Long Branch campus of the Hawks Taylor averaged 14.8 points per game to go along with 6.6 rebounds per game.
He started off this year with a 20 point, 12 rebound performance in a win over Fairleigh Dickinson and a 15 point, nine rebound game in a win over the Butler Bulldogs. He then went into hiding as he failed to reach 10 points in three of the next four games.
His play has been inconsistent throughout the year and it’s hurt the Musketeers, who are currently 17-12 (9-6 A10). Xavier is clearly off the bubble but a win at Butler on Saturday might help their chances of an at-large bid.
If Xavier is planning on making a run at an Atlantic 10 title, Taylor will need to continue his strong play of late–13 ppg, 12.6 rpg over the past six. If not, the Musketeers are likely NIT-bound.