Love Comes Up Big As XU Defeats SLU 73-71
Feb. 24, 2010
SAINT LOUIS, Mo. -- In a game in which both teams only had one senior between the two of them it was Xavier senior center Jason Love that proved to be the key as Xavier defeated Saint Louis 73-71 Wednesday night in front of a near sell-out at the Chaifetz Arena.
With the win, XU improved to 20-7 overall and 11-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. SLU fell to 18-9 overall and 9-4 in the A-10. With the win, XU sealed its fifth straight 20 win season
Love finished the game with 21 points on 9-of-17 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. He finished just one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards.
Jordan Crawford led all scorers with 26 points on11-of-20 from the field. Saint Louis was led by Kwamain Mitchell with 21 points on 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point land.
Kwamain Mitchell hit a jumper in the lane with 1:54 left in the game to cut the Xavier lead to three. Danté Jackson followed with a good look at a 3-pointer but it didn't fall. SLU drove down the court where Willie Reed hit the second of two free throws to cut the XU lead to 71-69 with 1:00 left in the game.
Love missed a hook shot with 30 seconds left but was there to pull down a rebound and call a timeout after Mitchell missed a 3-pointer that would have given the Billikens the lead with 10. 1 seconds left in the game. Love hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left after recovering a long inbounds pass from Crawford to seal the XU win.
Xavier went on a 16-0 run midway through the second half. Love scored four points in the run including a falling-down shot that found the bottom of the net at the 8:37 mark.
Crawford's 3-ball from the wing with 3:43 left in the game capped a huge possession for the Musketeers and gave XU a 69-60 lead.
Saint Louis scored two-straight to cut the XU lead to five but a Crawford finger roll at the 2:35 mark in the second frame gave the Musketeers a little breathing room at 71-66.
Saint Louis led 34-28 at the half thanks in large part to a sheer barrage of 3-pointers in the first half. The Billikens hit 7-of-12 from behing the arch for 58.3 percent, compared to Xavier's 25 percent on 1-of-4 3-point shooting.
Crawford led the Musketeers in scoring in the first frame with nine points. The Musketeers took an early 2-0 lead on a McLean layup at the 18:52 mark but SLU quickly took the lead on a 3-pointer by Mitchell at the 18:32 mark. The Billikens held the lead for the remainder of the half.
XU will return to action as they welcome Richmond to Cintas Center Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN-2.