No. 9 Musketeers Upset By Duquesne, 72-68
Feb. 7, 2009
PITTSBURGH (AP) -Aaron Jackson made five free throws in the final minute while scoring 21 points, and Duquesne held on despite going the final 7:44 without a basket to stun Xavier 72-68 on Saturday night and hand the Musketeers their first Atlantic 10 loss.
Bill Clark scored 18 points and hit a series of big shots as Duquesne (15-7, 6-3 in Atlantic 10) opened a 15-point lead at 45-30 by shooting 17-of-21 in the first half. Freshman Melquan Bolding added 12 points for Duquesne.
Senior B.J. Raymond scored 18 points but Xavier (20-3, 8-1) led only once, at 2-0, in losing for the first time in seven road games. It was the second time in three seasons the Musketeers were stunned at Duquesne, but they were not ranked when they lost 93-91 in 2006-07.
Xavier has been dominating the Atlantic 10, winning its first eight by an average of 18 points, and had won its last 15 games in February, when conference races often are decided.
"They played great," XU head coach Sean Miller said. "It's one thing to give up a high percentage, but it's a whole different thing to give up 81 percent. That's insurmountable for an opponent."
David Theis, only 5-of-14 at the line previously this season, made two key free throws with 46.2 seconds left to make it 66-59 after junior Jason Love missed a chance to get Xavier closer by making only one of three free throws.
After that, Jackson made five of six at the line during the final 31 seconds to hold off the Musketeers. Holloway scored 16 points a game after being held without a basket.
Duquesne, which lost to top 10-ranked Duke and Pitt earlier in the season, went on an 11-0 run started by Damian Saunders' 3-pointer and ended by Bolding's 3 to take a 20-7 lead with 13:26 left in the first half.
Xavier looked a little flat-footed at the start against Duquesne's pressure defense, perhaps because the Musketeers were playing their second game in three nights after beating Temple 83-74 on Thursday night.
"That wasn't to our advantage, but you play games a day apart in the NCAA tournament," Miller said. "You have to be able to deal with it."
Duquesne cooled off as Xavier went to a zone defense in the second half, shooting only 29.2 percent (7-of-24), but still finished at 53.3 percent (24-of-45) for the game.
"We did a great job of attacking their zone," said Dukes coach Ron Everhart, previously 0-6 against ranked teams. "Aaron Jackson controlled the game at point guard - he made big shots and he also got a lot of guys a lot of good shots."
Xavier will travel up I-75 to take on Dayton at 7 p.m. on Wednesday as it continues Atlantic 10 action.