No. 10 Musketeers Advance to Third Round After Downing No. 7 Notre Dame 67-63
March 17, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. -The No. 10 Xavier Musketeers defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 67-63 in front of a crowd of 16,523 at the Greensboro Coliseum in the Second Round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Senior Tu Holloway and North Carolina-native Dezmine Wells led the Musketeers out of the second round and into the third.
With the win the Musketeers improve to 22-12 on the season, while the Fighting Irish fall to 22-12.
Holloway led the game with 25 points off 10-of-15 shooting. With his effort on the night, Holloway moved to seventh on the all-time scoring list, surpassing Jamie Gladden with 1,790 career points. The senior was 2-of-4 from downtown, 3-of-4 from the charity stripe, hauled in two boards and dished out two dimes.
Raleigh, N.C., native Wells had 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his second career double-double. Wells made clutch free throws down the stretch to go 7-of-11 for the night, six of which came in the last five minutes of the game.
Senior Kenny Frease was the third Musketeer to reach double figures in scoring, with 10 points to go with his three boards. Andrew Walker had eight points and six boards while Mark Lyons also chipped in eight points while dishing out six assists.
The game remained close throughout the second half, with the Fighting Irish leading by as many as 10 with 12:20 to go in the game. Xavier mounted a 10-3 run from the 11:56 mark to the 7:10 mark to tie the game at 51. The game would get tied once more at 60-all with 1:34 left to go. Free throw shooting proved to be the difference maker down the stretch as Xavier survived.
Xavier shot 50.0 percent from the field to Notre Dame's 51.0 percent. The Musketeers outrebounded the Fighting Irish 30-21 and won the battle in the paint 32-30. XU also held the advantage in points off turnovers 11-7, second chance points, 10-7 and fast break points 11-4.
As both teams headed into the locker rooms Notre Dame held the slight 33-31 advantage. ND shot 51.9 percent from the floor to XU's 45.8 percent. Frease was the Musketeer's leading scorer in the first half with 10 points off four dunks and a pair of free throws. The Musketeers outrebounded the Fighting Irish in the first half 16-10.
Xavier started off the game going on a 7-0 run and then went on another 7-0 run to take the 16-9 lead at 13:06. Notre Dame would even up the score at 16-all just three minutes later. Both teams battled the rest of the half as there were nine lead changes and six times in the half.
Jack Cooley led the way for the Fighting Irish with 18 points and seven boards. Notre Dame had four players who scored in double figures.
Xavier will take on Lehigh on Sunday at 7:45 p.m. ET. The Musketeers are 1-0 in the all-time series against the Mountain Hawks with the only meeting coming back in the 2004-05 season. Stay tuned to GoXavier.com for more information about Xavier men's basketball in the NCAA Tournament.