Xavier Rallies To Top Dayton 70-69 In A-10 Quarterfinals

Mark Lyons hit two crucial buckets late to seal the XU win.

Mark Lyons hit two crucial buckets late to seal the XU win.

March 10, 2012

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Xavier advanced to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament with a thrilling win over Dayton, 70-69, Friday night at Boardwalk Hall. With the win, XU improved to 20-11 on the season while UD fell to 19-12.

Senior Tu Hollway led the way for the Musketeers with 21 points on 8-of-16 from the field. Senior Kenny Frease added 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds while junior Mark Lyons chipped in 12 including two crucial buckets late in the game. Freshman Dezmine Wells added nine points as well.

Kevin Dillard was tops for Dayton with 18 points on 6-of-15 from the floor. UD edged XU 33-32 on the boards.

Xavier came out hot in the beginning of the second half with an 11-5 run. Holloway scored six straight points to open the half and found Frease under the basket for a dunk at the 17:48 mark that cut the UD lead to 40-37.

Holloway tied the score at 45-all when he hit a deep 3-pointer at the 14:08 mark. Frease drained four straight free throws to give XU a 49-47 lead with 12:30 remaining in the game.

The two teams traded buckets throughout the remainder of the half until Lyons made two clutch buckets late in the game. With 2:09 remaining in regulation Lyons drove to the basket for a layup and was fouled. The XU junior connected for the old-fashioned 3-point play that cut the UD lead to one, 69-68. Lyons struck again with 29 seconds left in the game with a drive and a layup that put XU up 70-69.

Dayton's Chris Johson's shot with three seconds left caromed off the rim and XU held on for the win.

Dayton led by 10, 38-28, at halftime thanks to nine points from Williams who went 3-for-5 from the floor including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Holloway led all scorers in the first period with 10 points on 4-of-7 from the field.

Xavier led by as much as five with 16:27 left in the half but UD pulled away in the last four minutes of the first frame, outscoring XU 12-4 in the final four minutes to take a 10-point lead heading into intermission.

The Musketeers face Saint Louis in Saturday's semifinal. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.