Vols fall in season opener at Xavier, 67-63

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) charges into Xavier forward Isaiah Philmore (31) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Cincinnati. Matt Stainbrook (40) watches. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Semaj Christon scored 18 points, and short-handed Xavier -- playing with two starters sidelined by injury -- never trailed as the Musketeers used all of their depth and beat cold-shooting Tennessee 67-63 on Tuesday night.

Xavier (2-0) led by as many as 10 points in the first half, when the Volunteers (0-1) couldn't make any sort of basket consistently. The Volunteers got within two points in the second half, but Xavier pushed the lead back to 10 and held on.

Tennessee had won 14 straight season openers. The Vols opened on the road for the first time since 2004, and it didn't go well at all. Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 23 points.

The two teams could be playing again in a couple of weeks. They're sharing a charter flight to the Bahamas for a tournament over Thanksgiving weekend.

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