Xavier Slips Past Brigham Young in NCAA First Round
March 15, 2007
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Justin Doellman posted a NCAA tournament career high with 23 points and freshman Derrick Brown hauled in a career-high 16 rebounds to tie the school's NCAA record as ninth-seeded Xavier got past No. 8 Brigham Young, 79-77, in First Round action at Rupp Arena. The win moves XU to 25-8 overall, while the Cougars finish the season at 25-9.
Five ties and two lead changes would occur over the final five minutes of the game before junior Josh Duncan would score his only field goal of the game on a driving layup to give the Musketeers a 77-75 advantage with only 37 seconds remaining in the contest. Drew Lavender would seal the contest with two clutch free throws with 11.2 seconds remaining before BYU's last-second layup went through as the horn sounded.
After both teams turned the ball over on three of their first six possessions, the Cougars grabbed the early 9-2 lead. XU would score the first basket of the game after Justin Doellman nailed a jumper in the lane just 41 seconds into the game but BYU notched the next nine points to take the lead.
Derrick Brown would get the Musketeers back within four after grabbing a miss and slammed it home with 13:47 remaining in the half. Doellman would follow with a three on the next trip to cut the advantage to one but BYU would extend its lead back to seven with seven of the next 11 points.
Xavier would charge back yet again after B.J. Raymond knocked down back to back treys to put the score at 24-23 in favor of the Cougars. After two free throws by BYU's Keena Young, Doellman would show why he has played in 18 postseason games over his career. The senior took charge and drilled a three to tie the game and gave the Blue and White the lead on the next possession with a jumper in the lane to give Xavier the 28-26 advantage.
Three ties would ensue before the Cougars would reclaim the lead with just over a minute left in the half. Brigham Young would finish out the half by scoring the last eight points to take a 38-32 advantage into the locker room.
Doellman paced the Musketeers at the break with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range. Brown would find himself one rebound shy of his career high at the half as the freshman hauled in 10 boards with four being on the offensive end.
BYU's Young would show why he was named the Mountain West Conference's Player of the Year in the opening minutes of the second half. Fresh off a career-high 34 points in the MWC Championship game against UNLV, the senior would start the half 3-for-3 from the floor and score on each of the Cougars' first three possessions to keep the lead at eight points.
Xavier would only bucket one field goal over the first six minutes of the second half but free throws would keep XU in the game. The Musketeers were 8-for-8 from the line to keep the Cougar lead in single digits.
The offense would finally break through with 12:21 remaining in the second half. The senior, Doellman, would spark the 10-0 run over the next 2:15 to give Xavier its first lead since 5:05 remaining in the first half. Brown, Brandon Cole and Justin Cage would each add a pair of free throws during the stretch.
The final five minutes of the game would have everyone at Rupp Arena on the edge of their seats. With each possession came another tie and the possibility of a lead change or momentum shift but Xavier maintained the lead throughout much of the time before capping it at the end with the Duncan layup and Lavender free throws.
Doellman finished the day 8-for-17 from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Lavender would finish with 15 of his 17 points in the second half and 5-for-6 from the line. Brown ended the evening with 16 rebounds, six offensive and 10 defensive, while breaking a 14-year old XU NCAA Tournament record for rebounds in a game. The previous mark was set in the 1993 NCAA Tournament by Brian Grant as he also had 16 rebounds against Indiana on that occasion.
The Cougars' Young took home game-high honors with 24 points on 10-of-23 shooting.
This game marked only the third ever meeting between the two schools. The Cougars held the 2-0 advantage before tonight with the last meeting coming during the 1967-68 season and the first ever meeting came on Dec. 30, 1964. All three matchups have all been on neutral courts with the first two games being played in Oklahoma City.
The Musketeers were only one of two teams on the day to post an upset of a higher seeded team. The Blue and White downed the No. 8 Cougars, while No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth upset No. 6 Duke in Buffalo.
Up next for Xavier will be the top seed in the region and the No. 1 team in the nation, Ohio State. The game is slated for a 1:10 pm tip on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena.