Drew Lavender made all four of his attempts from deep on Wednesday.
Feb. 21, 2007
CINCINNATI - Senior forward Justin Doellman established a new career high with 29 points and junior guard Drew Lavender added 22 points and a game-high seven assists to lead the Xavier University men's basketball team past Rhode Island, 98-72, on Wednesday evening at Cintas Center. With the win, the Musketeers improve to 20-7 overall and 10-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference action. URI slips to 17-11, 10-4.
The win marks Xavier's 10th 20-win season in the last 11 years and its 20th 20-win season in the last 25 years. The Musketeers are now riding a season-high five game winning streak and have now won 12 consecutive games vs. the Rams.
Doellman's career best came on 10-of-16 shooting and he was also 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Lavender was 5-of-10 from the field including an unconscious 4-of-4 from long-range. The Columbus native was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line and did not commit a single turnover in 33 minutes of action.
Seniors Justin Cage and Brandon Cole each added nine points and five rebounds and junior guard Stanley Burrell made up for a cold shooting night by going 7-of-8 from the charity stripe and totaling nine points.
URI was able to hang around in the early stages of the second half, trailing by only eight points at the 12-minute mark after Terence Grier drained a 3-pointer. It was all Xavier from there though as the Musketeers answered with a 16-5 run over the next four minutes and led 74-55 with eight-minutes to go.
The Rams scored the next four points but a Cage fast break lay-up at the two-minute mark sparked an 8-0 run to squelch any thought of a comeback.
XU played a fine-tuned game offensively, shooting a solid 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the floor including a scintillating 70.8 percent (17-of-24) in the second half while 20 of Xavier's 29 buckets came via an assist.
XU also won the battle of the boards by a 33-to-30 count and turned the ball over only six times.
Xavier stormed out of the gate and jumped out to leads of 7-2 (17:50 mark) and 11-4 with 15:50 remaining in the first session. Lavender sparked XU's early push with a 3-pointer and with an alley-oop feed to Doellman, which brought the crowd of 9,805 to its feet.
Xavier would not let up and put together a 10-0 run over a 3:10 span to take a commanding 26-12 lead with 7:30 remaining in the first half. Lavender buried two more 3-pointers during the stretch and Doellman also added four points including a fast break dunk to cap it.
URI would not lie down though, closing the margin to five points, 35-30, with 1:10 remaining and trailed 39-32 at the break.
XU is back in action on Saturday, February 24 when the team travels up I-75 to take on Dayton. Game time is set for 6 p.m. and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU.