Dez Wells had another electrifying dunk in the Musketeer victory.
Feb. 18, 2012
CINCINNATI- The Xavier men’s basketball team grinded out an 86-83 overtime victory over rival Dayton at Cintas Center Saturday night. Senior Tu Holloway had a season-high 32 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists.
Xavier improves to 17-9 overall and 8-4 in the Atlantic 10. The Flyers drop to 16-10 for the season and 6-6 in the conference. With the win, Xavier has defeated Dayton 27 consecutive times in Cincinnati, dating back to 1981.
Holloway shot 8-of-17 from the field and 14-for-15 at the charity stripe to give him the Blackburn/McCafferty Game MVP. Holloway was one point shy of tying his career-high of 33. Junior Mark Lyons shot 8-for-13 from the field to give him 20 points.
With 11 seconds left to play in regulation, Holloway drove to the hoop and buried the layup while getting fouled in the process. He finished the old-fashioned three-point play to give XU a 75-73 lead. UD responded as Kevin Dillard made a layup with less than two second left to tie up the game 75-75 and force overtime. The last time XU and UD decided a game in overtime was on Feb. 2, 2000 when Xavier pulled off the 65-64 victory.
Holloway dropped a big time three with 2:23 in overtime to give the Musketeers an 82-78 lead. Two clutch free throws by Holloway gave the Musketeers the three point advantage, 86-83, while the final shot for Dayton couldn’t find the bottom of the cylinder to seal the victory for Xavier.
The Musketeers knotted up the score at 41 in the second half with a Lyons to Wells half court alley-oop. The Cintas Center’s sold out crowd rose to its feet and gave new life to the Musketeers. XU went on a 10-0 run, holding UD scoreless for over three minutes and gained a 47-41 lead early in the second half.
Despite shooting 40.6 percent from the field, Xavier found itself down 37-32 at half. There were three ties and four lead changes in the first half.
Lyons, making his first start since Feb. 1 against George Washington was an immediate defensive impact swiping two steals within the first four minutes. Holloway was the leading scorer at half with 13 points.
The Flyers pulled out to a seven point lead with 8:00 to play in the second half. They were able to gain this lead by nine free throw shots. Head Coach Chris Mack and Lyons were each dealt technical fouls, which resulted in three of the made free throws.
The Musketeers were able to pull their way back to a 32-37 lead with three minutes left by going on a 12-0 run. The run was capped by a stolen inbound pass with a quick lay-up by Holloway. XU's defense didn’t allow a field goal for seven minutes during the first half.
The Flyers ended the first half with a 10-0 run of their own holding the Musketeers scoreless for the last 3:14 to regain the lead.
Dillard led the way for Dayton with 20 points and shot 9-for 10 from the free throw line.
Xavier travels to Massachusetts Tuesday Feb.21 to face the Minutemen at 7 p.m. Stay tuned to GoXavier.com for latest news and updates for men’s basketball.