Musketeers Prevail Against A-10 Rival Dayton, 81-76

Holloway named Blackburn/McCafferty Game MVP

Holloway named Blackburn/McCafferty Game MVP

Jan. 15, 2011

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CINCINNATI -- It was another close game between rivals Xavier and Dayton, but in the end the Musketeers prevailed 81-76 in front of a capacity crowd at Cintas Center Saturday night. With the win, the Musketeers improved to 11-5 overall and 3-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The win was Xavier's 34th straight A-10 regular season home win, which ties a conference record.

It was an offensive slugfest between XU and UD with both teams shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Xavier was 26-of-49 from the field for 53.1 percent while the Flyers were 27-of-53 from the field for 50.9 percent, which was the highest shooting percentage by an XU opponent this season.

XU was led by junior guard Tu Holloway with 24 points on 7-of-12 from the field and a team-best 2-of-5 from behind the arch. Holloway's performance gave him the Blackburn/McCafferty Game MVP award. Senior forward Jamel McLean posted 15 points on 4-of-7 from the field and a season-best 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Junior Kenny Frease posted 20 points on 7-of-9 from the field. The Musketeer big men were strong in the paint with XU scoring 32 points in the paint to UD's 24.

UD (14-5, 2-2 A-10) saw five players reach double-figures with Juwan Staten leading the way with 17 points on 6-of-10 from the field. Chris Wright posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Johnson was second in scoring for the Flyers with 16 points.

Dayton took a 68-67 lead with three minutes left to play in the game when Chris Johnson hit a deep 3-pointer. However, the Musketeers would not be denied as they ran off seven unanswered points to take a 74-68 lead with 1:54 left to play.

Frease's free throw at the 1:37 mark gave XU a 75-70 lead but Staten's drive and layup 17 seconds later made it a one possession game at 75-72. Benson hit a fastbreak layup with 1:03 left in the game to cut the XU lead to one.

Holloway hit a jumper with 31 seconds remaining to give the Musketeers a 77-74 lead. The Flyers answered with two free throws by Staten with 22 seconds left once again cut the XU lead to one.

In the end, it was four free throws from Danté Jackson and Frease in the waning seconds of the game that sealed the XU win.

The Flyers led by a point, 32-31, at the end of the first half. Both teams were strong offensively in the first half with XU hitting 50 percent from the field on 11-of-22 shooting, UD hit 11-of-21 from the field for 52.4 percent. The Musketeers' 50 percent shooting performance was their best first half shooting percentage since they hit 57 percent of their shots in the first frame against Albany on December 28.

Xavier was led in scoring in the first frame by Holloway with 12 points on 3-of-5 from the field including 2-of-4 from behind the arch.

Dayton was led in the first half by Paul Williams with seven points on 2-of-4 from the field.

Sophomore Jeff Robinson's 3-pointer from the corner at the 4:50 mark in the first period was part of an 8-2 Musketeer run that culminated in an Andrew Taylor layup that gave XU the 26-24 with 4:14 left in the period. The Musketeers are headed to St. Bonaventure next for a 7 p.m. matchup on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Stay tuned to for more information.