Justin Cage scored 12 points to go with seven boards, three assists and two blocks.
Feb. 17, 2007
CINCINNATI - The Xavier men's basketball team used a career night from Brandon Cole to pull away from visiting Richmond, 71-50, Saturday night at sold-out Cintas Center. With the win, the Musketeers (19-7, 9-3 A-10) kept pace with first-place Rhode Island, which visits the Queen City next Wednesday night. Cole scored a career-best 17 points and pulled down six rebounds in leading XU to its fourth-straight victory.
Cole led four players in double-figures for the Musketeers who stayed within a half-game of the A-10 lead. The win sets up the A-10's biggest match-up of the season as the first-place Rhode Island Rams (10-3 in league play) roll into town Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Cole's 16 came on the strength of a career-best 11-for-13 performance at the charity stripe. He was three-for-five from the field and had two assists. Justin Dolleman poured in 13 points, Justin Cage added 12, Stanley Burrell scored 11, while Derrick Brown came off the bench to grab a career-best 11 rebounds.
For the game, XU was a season-best 33-of-43 from the free-throw line. It was Xavier's most production at the stripe since draining a similar 33-of-43 in a first-round win over UMass at the 2002 A-10 Championship. It also marked a Cintas Center record for made freebies.
After leading 34-20 at the break, the Musketeers scored the first five points of the second half to blow the game open at 39-20 just two minutes in. That 5-0 jaunt extended a 14-6 run XU used to close the first half.
The visiting Spiders shot 37.8 percent for the game (17-of-45) and made four three-pointers in 19 attempts as the Musketeers held their fourth-straight opponent to less than 60 points. UR (6-19, 2-10) was out-rebounded 40-22, including a 29-15 deficit on the defensive glass. Brian Morris scored 11 to lead Richmond, while Oumar Sylla scored nine off the bench.
Although the Musketeers hit just two treys in 10 attempts, XU found its success inside and shot a crisp 46.2 percent (18-of-39) for the contest. Brown added seven points and B.J. Raymond scored six off the bench.
Xavier scored eight of its first 10 points from the free throw line as the Musketeers rolled out to an early 10-4 advantage. A Burrell jumper was XU's only field goal in the first five minutes of action.
But the Spiders responded, thanks to a Morris three-pointer, and went on a 6-2 run over the next four minutes and pulled within two at 12-10 at the 11:55 mark. That was the closest UR would get.
Xavier continued to pound the ball inside, get fouls and parade to the free throw line. After Lavender missed XU's first two free throws, the Musketeers drained their next 20 in a row. In the first half Xavier was 22-for-26 at line, which outscored the entire Richmond team.
Brown got into the action as the highlight reel was rolling for yet another of his patented alley-oop dunks. He launched himself from the baseline and threw down home a Burrell pass at the 6:45 mark, which electrified the crowd of 10,250. That play triggered the 14-6 half-ending run for the home team.