Xavier Falls 79-71 in A-10 Semis
March 9, 2007
CINCINNATI - Junior point guard Drew Lavender led four Musketeers in double-figures with 18 points and dished-out nine assists for the second-consecutive night but it was not enough as the top-seeded Xavier University men's basketball team fell 79-71 to No. 4 Rhode Island in Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinal action at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. With the loss, Xavier slips to 24-8 on the year while the Rams improve to 19-13.
The loss breaks XU's nine-game winning streak and is the Musketeers second loss in their last 12 A-10 Tournament contests.
Sophomore guard B.J. Raymond buried a 3-pointer with 8:05 remaining in regulation to put XU up three points, 61-58, but the Musketeers would go cold and managed only one field goal over the next 6:55.
URI would take advantage, sprinting out to an 8-0 run over the next 2:10 and extending that run to 14-3 over the next 4:05 to take a commanding 72-64 advantage with 1:20 to go.
XU was unable to mount a comeback, trading buckets with the Rams for the remainder of the contest.
Lavender's 18 came on 7-of-19 shooting and his nine assists tied a career high. Senior forward Justin Doellman scored 13 points and snared five boards and classmate Justin Cage notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Stanley Burrell chipped in with 11 points for XU.
The Musketeers lost the battle of the boards by a 40-to-34 count and were out-rebounded 28-to-19 on the defensive glass. The Rams were solid on Friday, connecting on 50 percent of their field goal attempts including an unconscious 57.1 percent in the second half
Jimmy Baron led the way for URI with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Xavier stormed out to a 9-2 lead after Lavender made a fast break lay-up just three-minutes into the game. Lavender keyed XU's early spurt with five points.
URI would answer in a big way though and mounted a 17-2 run over the next 6:20 to take a 21-13 advantage with 8:40 remaining in the first half.
Xavier would regroup and charged out to a 15-6 spurt over the next 4:10 to reclaim the lead, 28-27, at the 4:30 mark. Cage sparked the XU rally with an old-fashioned 3-point play and Doellman scored five points in a 50-second span to pull XU within one point.
The two sides traded baskets for the final 4:30 and XU went into the locker room up 34-33.