Xavier Routs St. Bonaventure in A-10 Home Opener
Jan. 7, 2006
CINCINNATI - Senior forward Brian Thornton scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season as the Xavier men's basketball team defeated St. Bonaventure, 99-71, in front of 10,012 at Cintas Center. Xavier improves to 9-2 and 2-0 in the A-10 while St. Bonaventure drops to 6-7 overall and 0-2 in Conference action.
The 99 points scored by the Musketeers are the most scored by Xavier since XU defeated St. Bonaventure en route to the 2004 Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship, 90-64, on March 10, 2004 at UD Arena. XU is now 48-1 when scoring 80 or more points since 2001.
"I want to give St. Bonaventure a lot of credit. They are clearly a better team," said Xavier head coach Sean Miller. "Any time you coach a team that gets 30 assists, that's a good feeling. We have some talent in that area. We have an unselfish team. We have a team that likes to pass the ball."
Xavier opened the second half with a 13-4 run over the first 4:34, which was capped off by a 3-point field goal from Josh Duncan to give the Musketeers a 17-point advantage at 53-36. The Musketeers, who never trailed during the contest, held its largest lead of the game at 92-59 with 3:35 remaining.
Xavier took control of the game early by opening on a 16-4 run over the first 4:25, which included a pair of baskets from junior Justin Doellman. The Bonnies responded to the early XU spurt with a 9-2 run of their own to trim the XU lead to five points at the 10:30 mark. XU pushed the lead back out to 11 points off of a slam dunk from Thornton at the 2:37 mark, but a made jumper from Tyler Relph brought the Bonnies within eight points at 40-32 heading into the locker rooms.
XU was 36-of-67 (.537) from the field for the game, which marks the seventh time in 11 games that the Musketeers have shot over .500 for a game this season. The Musketeers converted on a season-high 12-of-21 (.571) from 3-point territory. Xavier also recorded a season-high 30 assists for the game on the strength of a career-high six assists from sophomore Stanley Burrell.
XU had five players score in double-figures for the first time this season led by Thornton's 19 points. With the 19-point total for Thornton, the senior now has scored 1,018 points for his career (454 at Xavier and 564 in his two years at Vanderbilt).
Josh Duncan scored 13 points on 5-of-6 from the field, Justin Doellman dropped in 11 points while grabbing eight rebounds, Burrell totaled 11 points to go with his career-high six assists and Johnny Wolf scored a career-high 10 points. Duncan scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half on the strength of 4-of-4 from the field including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Junior center Paul Williams scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Bonnies. SBU was 25-of-57 (.439) for the game including 5-of-17 (.294) from 3-point range. The 43.9 percent clip for the Bonnies is the best that an XU opponent has shot all season long.
"We saw first-hand today what it's like to compete against an elite team in our conference," said St. Bonaventure head coach Anthony Solomon. "They're deep at every position. When they're shooting the three ball like they did tonight they're a tough team to beat. They're a difficult team to defend. While we weren't as good as we wanted to be, they had a lot to do with it."
SBU's Ahmad Smith came into the game averaging 17.1 ppg., but the XU defense limited the senior to just 11 points with five points coming in the last four minutes of the game.
Xavier will be back in action on Monday, Jan. 9, when they Musketeers play host to the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. from Cintas Center.