Xavier Downs Dayton 76-59 to Clinch Third-Straight A-10 Championship
March 6, 2009
CINCINNATI - Seniors B.J. Raymond and C.J. Anderson led the No. 17/18 men's basketball team to a 76-59 win over the Dayton Flyers on Senior Night in front of a sell-out crowd at Cintas Center Thursday evening. The win clinched Xavier's third-straight Atlantic 10 regular season championship, which the Musketeers celebrated by cutting down the net as confetti fell at the conclusion of the victory. The Musketeers will take their 24-5 (12-3 A-10) record to Richmond Saturday to close out the regular season. The Flyers have fallen to 24-6 (10-5 A-10) this season.
With 7:18 remaining, Dayton's Marcus Johnson dunked a fast break attempt which cut the Xavier lead to six. With XU in need of a momentum swing, the seniors took charge, opening a run that would seal the Musketeer victory. Anderson made both of his free throw attempts following a Chris Johnson foul, followed by back-to-back fast break three-pointers from Raymond to open up a 63-49 lead on the Flyers with 6:10 to play, sealing the game in XU's favor.
Sophomore Danté Jackson and Raymond both scored 14 points on the night for XU, part of a Xavier offensive attack that saw four players reach double-figure scoring. Junior Derrick Brown notched a double-double with his 12 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two blocks and a steal.
Jackson opened the game on fire, scoring XU's first eleven points on 4-4 shooting, including three from beyond the arc. In fact, by the first TV timeout the score was Danté Jackson 11 - Dayton five. His performance earned him the Blackburn/McCafferty Most Valuable Player Trophy.
Sophomore Jamel McLean led all XU reserves with 10 points and five rebounds. Dayton did not have an answer for McLean, who went perfect from the floor at 4-4, making both of his free throw attempts. Freshman Brad Redford also added nine points on 3-6 from beyond the arc, including one launched from what Head Coach Sean Miller described as "half court". Altogether, the Xavier bench outscored the Flyer reserves 31-16.
XU concluded the half with their largest lead of the game, a 40-27 margin. McLean and Jackson led the team with 10 and 11 points, respectively. Altogether, the Xavier bench outscored Dayton's bench 23-5 in the first half. A 10-3 Xavier run from 10:06 to 7:46 opened up the game for the Musketeers.
Prior to the start of the game, seniors Raymond and Anderson were honored during the Senior Night presentation, receiving thanks from University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., Athletic Director Mike Bobinski, Head Coach Sean Miller, and the sold-out Cintas Center crowd. Tonight Xavier recorded its 100th win during Raymond's career, making him the winningest senior in Xavier history. This season he is averaging 13.7 points and 4.1 rebounds to go along with a 41.8 three-point shooting percentage. With his 14 points tonight, Raymond became the 47th member of the 1,000-point club (1,008 points so far). Anderson stands third on the team in scoring and rebounding this season with 10.5 points per game and a 5.6 rebounding average. A transfer from Manhattan College, Anderson has scored 1,447 points in his college career so far.
A Xavier victory at Richmond (Saturday at 7 p.m.) or a Rhode Island loss versus Massachusetts will give Xavier the A-10 Championship outright. XU clinched at least a share of the championship tonight.
At the conclusion of today's game, the Musketeers celebrated their Atlantic 10 regular season championship by cutting down the nets in front of the Cintas Center crowd.