McLean recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards.
Feb. 8, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - In its final non-conference game of the season, Xavier defeated Georgia, 65-57, in a back-and-forth battle on Tuesday evening in Athens, Ga at Stegeman Coliseum. The Musketeers improve to 17-6 on the season and hold at 8-1 in the Atlantic 10 heading into their showdown with Duquesne.
Junior Tu Holloway, who was held scoreless in the game until the 13:28 mark of the second half, led all scorers with 18 points. He also contributed five rebounds and five assists. Holloway's second-half surge marked the ninth time in which he has scored over 15 points in the second half.
Senior Jamel McLean posted his eighth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Mark Lyons and Junior Kenny Frease contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively. Senior Danté Jackson scored nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range.
Xavier ended its non-conference slate by defeating its' fourth-straight SEC opponent on the road. The victory also concluded one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation. The Musketeers have played Butler, Gonzaga, Florida and Cincinnati, among others this year.
Facing a five-point disadvantage with just under 15 minutes left in the second half the Muskies went on a 11-2 run to take a 43-39 lead. Holloway contributed six points during the run.
In a game that featured 14 lead changes and two ties, neither team was able to remain in control. Holloway ended that by putting Xavier up, 52-46, with a pair of free throws with 4:12 remaining.
Georgia would cut the lead to four points on three separate occasions only to have Xavier push the lead back to six each time. XU would eventually push its lead out to nine with 34 seconds remaining.
After dismal shooting in the first half, Xavier would finish the game 20-of-54 (37.0 percent). Georgia connected on 21-of-54 (38.4 percent) of its shots. The Bulldogs led Xavier 36-35 on the boards.
Xavier made a conscious effort to get the ball inside to its post players during a first half that saw the Musketeers go into the locker room with a 27-26 deficit.
Xavier's starting frontcourt of Frease (eight) and McLean (seven) combined for 15 first-half points. Jackson contributed six points on a pair of three-point field goals.
Holloway, the A-10 leading scorer, was held scoreless during the half. St. Bonaventure (1-19-11) was the last team to hold Holloway scoreless during the first half. He would finish the game against the Bonnies with a game-high 22 points.
Lyons' streak of 22 consecutive free throws was snapped on his first free throw attempt after a hard Bulldog foul on a fast break. He finished the first frame with three points.
The Musketeers shot 10-of-31 (32.3 percent) from the floor during the half compared to 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) for the Bulldogs. Xavier trailed 18-17 on the boards, but only allowed one offensive rebound in the half. Georgia finished the game with seven offensive rebounds and had only five second-chance points. Coming into the game Georgia was averaging 12.4 second-chance points and 13 offensive rebounds.
Trey Thompkins led the Bulldogs (16-7, 5-4 SEC) with 14 points and nine rebounds. Travis Leslie, Dustin Ware, and Gerald Robinson each contributed 10 points in the losing effort.
Xavier's four-straight victories over SEC teams on the road include Auburn in 2008, LSU in 2009 and Florida in 2010.
The Xavier Musketeers return to Atlantic 10 action on Sunday in Pittsburgh against the Duquesne Dukes, who is at 2 p.m. ET. The Dukes are 8-1 in Atlantic 10 play and are receiving votes in both polls. Duquesne remains idle until Sunday, meaning this game will break the tie at the top of the conference. Television coverage for the game between the top two teams in the A-10 will be on Fox Sports Ohio.