Xavier Sits Atop Atlantic 10 After 71-63 Victory Over Duquesne
Feb. 13, 2011
PITTSBURGH - In front of a full house at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon, Xavier defeated Duquesne, 71-63, in a physical contest. In a game where Xavier would struggle early a career-high tying 19 points from senior Danté Jackson would provide the spark that the Musketeers needed.
With the victory, Xavier (18-6, 9-1 A-10) stakes claim to sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10. Duquesne falls to 16-7. At 8-2 in the A-10, Duquesne drops to second place in the conference.
Xavier, and A-10 leading scorer, junior Tu Holloway scored a game-high 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out three assists.
Junior Kenny Frease would record his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points, while pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Senior Jamel McLean barely missed a double-double of his own with 10 points and nine boards.
Xavier would come out in the second half and take a 42-41 lead with 16:16 left behind a pair of free throws from Sophomore Mark Lyons. Duquesne would respond with an 8-1 run and go ahead by six points heading into the under 12 minute media timeout.
Just seconds later, at the 11:34 mark, Lyons picked up his fifth foul, marking the shortest outing of the season for him. He finished with six points, three rebounds, and three assists.
Holloway and Jackson would sink a pair of back-to-back treys to pull within one at 50-49 forcing a Duquesne timeout with 10:12 left. Jackson tied the game on a free throw and McLean would then give Xavier a three-point lead after a three-point play on an emphatic dunk.
A Jackson steal and lay-in and a deep Holloway three-pointer would extend Xavier's lead to nine, 62-53, with 5:14 left in the contest. Duquesne would get no closer than five points with 21.7 seconds on the clock. Xavier sank several free-throws to seal the game and provide the final margin of victory.
Xavier finished the contest 21-of-43 (48.8 percent) from the floor, while holding Duquesne to 21-of-58 (36.2 percent). Despite committing a season-high 20 turnovers the Musketeers would get the victory thanks in part to a 41-32 rebounding advantage and Jackson's career-high tying performance.
In all, a total of 46 fouls would be called in the physical contest. In addition to Lyons, B.J. Monteiro fouled out for the Dukes.
After the first 20 minutes of action Duquesne held a lead of 37-36. With Xavier trailing 37-33 with 20 seconds remaining in the half, Frease would complete an old-fashion three-point play to provide the halftime score.
Shortly after the under 16 minute media timeout, Jackson went on a personal 8-0 run to push Xavier out to a 15-5 lead. With Xavier leading 25-15 following the under eight minute media timeout, Duquesne went on a 12-3 run to pull within two, 29-27. Duquesne would extend its lead to four, setting up Frease's three-point play to pull XU within one at the break.
Frease would score 12 points and haul in six rebounds in the opening frame. Jackson would add 11 points behind 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Despite shooting an exceptional 52.2 percent (12-of-23) during the first half, Xavier found itself with the one-point deficit due to committing 10 turnovers. By comparison, Duquesne shot 45.2 percent (14-of-31) and only committed six turnovers. Both teams pulled in 16 rebounds, however the Dukes had an 8-6 advantage on offensive boards in the half.
Jackson previously scored 19 points in last season's home victory over Dayton (1-16-10), a performance that earned him the Blackburn/McCafferty MVP for the second time.
Leading the Dukes was Bill Clark with 14 points and 11 boards. Monterio led the Dukes in scoring with 17, but he was held to three second-half points on 1-of-7 shooting. Damian Saunders added 11.
On Wednesday Xavier returns to Pennsylvania as they face St. Joseph's at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia at the Hagen Center. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio and CBS Sports Regional.