Top-Seeded Men's Basketball Advances to Semifinals
March 12, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Senior B.J. Raymond hit a 30-foot buzzer beater to end the first half and the top-seeded Xavier University men's basketball team never looked back in a 66-47 victory over No. 9 seed Saint Louis (18-14) on Thursday. With the victory, XU (25-6) advances to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
Raymond led all scorers with 18 points, hitting six of his nine attempts from the field, including all three of his tries from long distance. Senior C.J. Anderson added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and junior Jason Love hit six free throws on his way to 10 points to give XU three players in double figures.
Brown started the scoring with a three-pointer on XU's first possession, sparking a 15-2 run to start the game, capped with a pull-up jumper from freshman Terrell Holloway with 14:35 to play in the first half.
Saint Louis chipped away at the deficit, pulling within three on a three-pointer by Tommy Liddell III at the 5:08 mark. With the margin still at three with under two minutes remaining before halftime, Holloway and Anderson hit back-to-back jumpers on consecutive possessions to extend the advantage back to seven.
With the Billikens holding for the assumed last possession, the Musketeers forced a shot clock violation with two seconds on the clock to set up a final XU possession. Anderson threw a long inbound pass to Raymond, who faked his defender off the ground before dribbling once and putting up a shot that banked in to give XU a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Musketeers opened the second half with a 7-0 run to build a 17-point advantage, pushing the margin to 21 points on a free throw by Love with 12:49 to play. A three-pointer by Liddell pulled SLU within 14 at the 5:08 mark, but that was close as the Billikens would get thanks to six straight points by XU to push the lead to 20 once again.
Xavier will play the winner of Thursday's Saint Joseph and Temple quarterfinal showdown.