Doellman Leads Six Musketeers in Double-Figures as XU Downs UMass, 83-77

Justin Cage scored 12 points and connected on two big buckets down the stretch.

Justin Cage scored 12 points and connected on two big buckets down the stretch.

Jan. 18, 2007

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

CINCINNATI - Senior forward Justin Doellman led a balanced offensive attack with 16 points as the Xavier University men's basketball team held off UMass, 83-77, on Thursday evening at Cintas Center. With the win, XU improves to 13-5 on the season and grabs a share of first place in the A-10 standings with a 3-1 mark. UMass slips to 13-5 overall, 3-1 in the loop.

Doellman's 16 came on 6-of-9 shooting and he also snared seven boards. Five other Musketeers joined Doellman in double-digit scoring. Junior guard Stanley Burrell scored 15 points, was 2-of-3 from deep and drilled four big free throws in the closing seconds.

Junior point guard Drew Lavender netted 14 points and was 6-of-10 from the floor. Lavender also registered a season-high five steals. Junior forward Josh Duncan scored 13 and made all four free throws he attempted and senior forward Justin Cage scored 12.

Freshman forward Derrick Brown chipped in with 10 first-half points. Senior forward Brandon Cole corralled a team-high 10 rebounds.

Six Musketeers scored in double-figures for the first time since December 20, 1999 in an 84-55 victory over Toledo.

XU led by as many as eight early in the second half but UMass came back and the showdown was all knotted up at 62 with 7:20 to go. Xavier would wrestle control of the game from the Minutemen with a decisive 12-4 run, which culminated with a Cage put back at the three-minute mark.

UMass whittled the Xavier lead down to two points with 30-seconds remaining but the Musketeers hit six big free throws in the final 24-seconds to ice the victory.

The Minutemen had their way on the boards, out-rebounding the Musketeers 47-to-31 on the night. However, Xavier took care of business on the free throw line, connecting on 15 attempts from the charity stripe. XU also committed just nine turnovers on the night while forcing UMass into 16 miscues.

XU built a 55-47 lead with 14:20 left in regulation after Lavender drained a 3-pointer to cap a 12-4 Musketeer run. The Minutemen would counter punch one last time though and jumped out to a 9-0 run to take a 56-55 lead at the 12:20 mark.

Rashaun Freeman and Stephane Lasme led the way for UMass with 22 and 20 points respectively.

The early minutes of the first half saw three ties and five lead changes as neither team was able to get the upper hand. Lasme pulled UMass within three points, 26-23, when he converted on a lay-up at the 7:50 mark but the next four minutes was all Xavier.

XU sprinted out to an 11-2 run over the next 3:50 and seized a 37-25 lead after Duncan made his second reverse lay-up in 1:30. Brown sparked the run with five points including a fastbreak lay-up that electrified the crowd of 9,901.

UMass would answer though and ended the half on an 11-0 run, which pulled the Minutemen within one point, 37-36, at intermission.

Xavier is back in action when the team travels to Philadelphia to take on Saint Joseph's. Game time is set for noon and the game will be televised locally on FSN Ohio.