Dezmine Wells had 12 points in his return to his home state.
Jan. 28, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was a close game throughout but Xavier was able to pull out a 74-70 victory over Charlotte to snap a two-game conference losing streak on Saturday night at Halton Arena.
The Musketeers improve to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in the Atlantic 10 after the four-point road victory, while Charlotte drops its third straight game and falls to 10-10 overall and 2-5 in the league.
Holloway was the leading force for Xavier scoring a team-high 17 points and contributing seven assists. Kenny Frease had 12 points and collected four rebounds, while Dezmine Wells scored 12 points included three straight baskets in his homecoming.
Xavier improves to 10-2 all-time against the 49ers with the victory which opens a streak of three-straight road contests for the Musketeers.
The Musketeers had 18 assists on 29 baskets during the game and also dominated inside, outscoring the 49ers 46-14 in the paint. Xavier also benefitted from 24 bench points, nine of which came from Brad Redford and eight from Travis Taylor.
Outside of Javarris Barnett - 27 points - the Musketeers had an outstanding team performance on defense. Barnett scored a team high 27 points, but the other 49ers were 11-of-35 shooting (31.4 percent). At the other end the Musketeers were 29-of-59 (49.2 percent) shooting and were 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from behind the arc. Barnett made seven of the 49ers' 10 treys on the night.
Xavier held a four-point advantage at the half and saw that reduced to just one point at the 15-minute mark in the half. A basket from Lyons and Redford's second 3-pointer of the night gave XU a 52-46 lead. That margin wouldn't last long with Charlotte responding with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game for the first time since tip.
A transition nothing-but-net trey from Redford broke the tie and steal and fast break by Lyons quieted the home crowd until Barnett's 30-foot jumper. It would be a close affair through the remainder of the game as both the Musketeers and 49ers would trade big basket after big basket.
Wells made provided XU with three-straight baskets, two of which were offensive putbacks, at the rim to give Xavier a 68-62 lead. Holloway would make it an eight-point advantage for Xavier with over two minutes left, however, Charlotte fought back to make it a one possession game with 51.8 second remaining.
Charlotte started off the game by making a 3-pointer, but quickly found itself cold from outside missing nine straight shots from behind the arc. The 49ers held onto the lead until a fast-break dunk from Dezmine Wells and a trey from Brad Redford gave Xavier its first lead with nearly 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Xavier maintained the lead and continued to play stellar defense against the 49ers, who failed to score a field goal for over six minutes. Kenny Frease scored four straight points for the Musketeers and then had two easy baskets at the rim for Andre Walker and Travis Taylor to extend Xavier's lead to eight and forcing a timeout from Charlotte.
The 49ers narrowed Xavier's lead after trailing by as many as 10 points by finally finding a heartbeat from outside. They hit two straight 3-pointers to help make it a 37-33 Musketeer lead at halftime.
Charlotte was held to just 32.1 percent (9-of-28) shooting, a new low for a Xavier opponent in the first half this season. It also marked the lowest point total for an XU opponent at the half since the Musketeers' win against St. Bonaventure on Jan. 14.
Xavier shot 48.4 percent (15-of-31) in the half and cashed on three of its 10 3-point attempt. The 49ers made just 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) attempt in the half from 3-point range. Eleven of Charlotte's points at half came from the free-throw line.
Holloway was the leading point getter for the Musketeers at the half scoring nine points and dishing out three assists. Taylor scored eight coming off the bench and Frease had eight points and three rebounds at the break. Both Javarris Barnette and DeMario Mayfield had 10 points for the 49ers.
At the break Xavier was dominating the points in the paint battle 22-8 and had 11 assists on 15 baskets. The Musketeers also did a good job at holding onto the ball turning it over just three times.
Xavier next travels to the nation's capital to face George Washington on Wednesday. That game tips at 7 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Ohio in the local Cincinnati viewing area.