Senior forward Justin Doellman scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds in XU's win at Dayton.
Feb. 24, 2007
DAYTON, Ohio - The Xavier Musketeers won their season-high sixth straight game with a 75-67 victory over the Dayton Flyers at sold out UD Arena on Saturday night. The win kept Xavier, 21-7 overall, in first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference at 11-3.
"Winning on the road is very difficult but in a very hostile environment we came up with some big plays down the stretch," said Xavier head coach Sean Miller.
It was a game of runs that was started by the home team. Dayton jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the opening minutes but Xavier quickly answered with a 13-0 run to take a nine-point, 13-4, lead with 15:57 left in the first half. Junior guard Drew Lavender led the run with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. Lavender scored 16 of his team-high 27 points in the first half as he led XU to a 36-29 lead at intermission.
The Flyers closed the gap to three points, 38-35, early in the second half by outscoring XU 6-2 after the break. The Musketeers answered with a 12-3 run that included three-pointers from Lavender and sophomore swing man B.J. Raymond and was emphatically finished with a dunk by freshman Derrick Brown that gave XU a 50-38 lead with 12:43 left.
Dayton would not go down without a fight on its home court, a place where the Flyers were 14-1 this season entering the game. Dayton used a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to deadlock the score at 52-all heading into the under eight-minute media timeout.
Xavier got a pair of free throws from senior forward Justin Cage out of the media timeout and that began a 9-0 Musketeer run that saw XU take a 61-52 lead with 5:32 left. Junior guard Stanley Burrell scored four of XU's points during the run, while senior forward Justin Doellman stepped up with a three-pointer. Dayton never got close than five points in the final 5:32.
Lavender was selected by the media as the Blackburn/McCafferty Game MVP after his 27-point effort, which included five three-pointers and an 8-of-8 effort at the free-throw line. Doellman finished with 11 points and five rebounds, while Burrell had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
"The play of Drew Lavender was the difference in the game," said Miller. "He played at such a high level and, as the best point guards do, he made the game easier for the rest of his team."
Dayton, which got game highs of 28 points and 10 rebounds from Charles Little, fell to 6-8 in the Atlantic 10 and 16-11 overall.
Xavier, which completed the season sweep of the home-and-away season series from Dayton, has now won 11 of the last 14 meetings against the Flyers.
Xavier hosts Saint Joseph's on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Cintas Center. It will be the home finale and "Senior Night" for five Musketeer seniors.