Burrell led the Musketeers to victory with a game-high 17 points.
Jan. 4, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Sophomore guard Stanley Burrell scored a team-high 17 points and also recorded three assists as the Xavier men's basketball team opened up its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule with a 62-58 win over the Saint Joseph's Hawks at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on the SJU campus. With the win the Musketeers improve to 8-2 overall and 1-0 in the Conference while the Hawks drop to 5-5 and 0-1 in the A-10.
The XU win snaps a 13-game home A-10 winning streak for the Hawks. Xavier was the last team to win at SJU as Lionel Chalmers and David West led XU to an 88-80 overtime win on March 5, 2003.
With XU holding a 51-50 lead with 1:58 to go in the game, Burrell found a cutting Dedrick Finn who converted on the backdoor play to give the Musketeers a three-point lead at 53-50. The Finn lay-up followed Thornton's put-back at the 2:30 mark which gave XU the lead for good at 51-50.
After Saint Joe's stretched its lead to 33-23 with 18:23 to go in the game, the Musketeers began their comeback with a 15-5 run over the next 6:48. Sophomore Stanley Burrell capped the XU run as the guard hit XU's first 3-pointer of the game at 11:35 to tie the game at 38-38. The Xavier defense limited SJU to just one made field goal during that stretch.
Xavier took its first lead of the game at the 10:50 mark when Brian Thornton silenced the SJU faithful as the forward ran the floor and slammed home the pass from Finn to take a 40-38 advantage midway through the second half.
SJU jumped out to the early lead in the game with an 8-2 run over the first 3:01, which was capped off by an old-fashioned 3-point play from sophomore guard Abdulai Jalloh at the 16:59 mark. The Hawks stretched their lead to as many as 10 points on three occasions in the first half including a 26-16 advantage with 5:03 to go off of three made free throws from Jalloh.
The Musketeers closed the opening half with a pair of free throws from Johnny Wolf with 8.6 seconds remaining and trailed 29-22 heading into the locker rooms.
XU struggled to find its rhythm from the charity stripe in the first stanza as the Musketeers shot just 4-of-13 (.308) from the line while the Hawks were able to convert on 8-of-10 (.800) from the line. The Musketeers hit 11-of-16 (.688) from the stripe in the second half including a stretch of seven consecutive makes to finish at 15-of-29 (.517) for the game.
Xavier was 23-of-46 (.500) from the floor for the game including 1-of-6 (.167) from 3-point range. Senior forward Brian Thornton recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points on 5-of-10 from the floor and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. Justin Doellman added 10 points and Justin Cage chipped in with 10 points.
SJU came into tonight's game shooting at a 46.6 percent clip from the floor, but Xavier turned in a great defensive effort and limited the Hawks to just 21-of-54 (.389) from the field including 5-of-18 (.278) from long range. Senior point guard Dwayne Lee led the Hawks with 16 points and six assists while Ahmad Nivins grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Xavier will return to the floor on Saturday, Jan. 7, when the Musketeers play host to St. Bonaventure at Cintas Center. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m.
A number of lower-level tickets still remain for Saturday's game versus the Bonnies, please call Ticketmaster to purchase tickets for XU's Atlantic 10 Conference home opener.