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Zip Em Up Shines in 2022 Debut

by Tim Daniel

Nostalgia was hitting an all-time high tonight at the Cintas Center, as Team Zip 'Em Up brought all the Xavier fans back some of their favorite days as Musketeer faithful with a 94-61 victory over Sweet Home Alabama.

Kaiser Gates showed off the bounce they all remember, Semaj Christon showed how difficult it can be to stay in front of him, and guys like Trevon Bluiett, JP Macura, and Nate Johnson reminded folks just how well they can stretch the floor.

But, the most exciting part of the night was BJ Raymond. Raymond is a player/coach for the team and is also a grad assistant for the Xavier Men's Basketball program under Sean Miller. Tonight, BJ played just two minutes and eighteen seconds, but he made it count with a three-point basket that got everyone in the arena off their feet.

One thing that jumped out the most from this team was their ability to share the basketball, and also how deep of a team they are. Although they struggled to shoot from deep, they still won by 33 points, had seven players who played over 15 minutes, and also the whole team scored at least once.

Semaj Christon, Matt Stainbrook, and Kaiser Gates all tied for the team lead in scoring with 13 points. Christon was 5/7 from the floor, and also had eight assists. Stainbrook was 5/5 from the floor adding seven rebounds to his performance and Kaiser Gates also contributed eight rebounds as well.

What was extremely impressive was their defensive ability, holding Sweet Home Alabama to just 35% from the floor, and 19% from 3. They also forced 11 turnovers, with a 16-0 advantage in points off of turnovers.

Up next for Zip Em Up, they will face Sideline Cancer who won their game today 78-77. Mike Daum had 31 for Sideline Cancer today and former NBA player CJ Miles contributed 16 points as well.

Tip-off will be Wednesday at 8 PM EST and will be live on ESPN U.

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