Xavier Advances to Atlantic 10 Tournament Semifinals with 74-65 Win over Dayton

Sophomore Jason Love takes a charge in XU's 74-65 win over Dayton

Sophomore Jason Love takes a charge in XU's 74-65 win over Dayton

March 13, 2008

AP Action Photos 

ATLANTIC CITY - Featuring five players in double-digit scoring, the No. 10/12 Xavier men's basketball team downed Dayton 74-65 to advance to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament in Atlantic City. Xavier improves their record to 27-5 (15-3 A-10), while Dayton falls to 21-10 overall with their elimination from the tournament.


Senior Josh Duncan led all scorers with 16 points, including 3-5 from beyond the arc, and six rebounds.  Fellow senior Drew Lavender added 12 points and six assists during his 32 minutes on the floor.


Sophomore Derrick Brown finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds to go along with three steals in 35 minutes of play.


Five Xavier players reached double-digit scoring, including Duncan (16), C.J. Anderson (15), Stanley Burrell (13), Lavender (12) and Brown (11).


Dayton broke out to a 10-4 lead by the 15:09 mark of the first stanza, when Brown took a charge that shifted the Musketeers offensive engine to full drive.  Lavender and Duncan sank consecutive NBA-range three-pointers, Duncan's giving XU the lead at 10:35.


The run continued, as Lavender drained another long three-pointer, followed by a steal and an emphatic Brown dunk, inflating the lead to 25-17. From 10:35 to 3:57, Xavier went on a 17-3 run.


The Flyers were outscored 35-29 by XU, led by nine points from Lavender coming from three long three-pointers.  Brown led the rebounding effort with four by the half way mark to go along with five points.


Dayton retook the lead at the 14:16 mark of the second half on a Brian Roberts jumper.  Xavier would answer with a 10-2 run, capped by a Burrell three-pointer at 10:54.  The Musketeers never looked back.


Xavier has now defeated Dayton six straight times. The Musketeers won 69-43 at Cintas Center on January 24 and 57-51 at UD Arena on February 24. Last year XU also defeated Dayton in the A-10 quarterfinals, winning 72-51 in Atlantic City.


The Musketeers earned the top seed by going 14-2 in the Atlantic 10 regular season, winning their second straight A-10 regular season title and its sixth in 13 years as an A-10 member.


Xavier head coach and Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Sean Miller is now 90-37 (.709), surpassing Ned Wulk, who had 89 wins in six seasons (89-70 from 1951-57), for sole possession of sixth place in Xavier basketball history. Jim McCafferty is in the fifth spot with 91 wins in six seasons (91-71 from 1957-63).


Xavier, 27-5, has set a new second-highest total for wins for an entire season (27). The previous mark of 26 was set by the 2003-4, 2002-03, 2001-02 and 1987-88 teams. The record for most wins in an entire season belongs to the 1989-90 "Sweet 16" team (28-5).


The win marks the seventh straight year the Musketeers have advanced to the semifinals.  XU is now 21-8 in the tournament.


Xavier will play the winner of fourth-seeded Richmond and fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow.