Xavier Beats Wofford 94-90 in Triple Overtime Thriller
CINCINNATI - Xavier (5-1) won another close battle at Cintas Center 94-90 in triple-overtime over the Wofford Terriers. Xavier was led by Junior Tu Holloway with 28 points and 7 assists. Sophomore Mark Lyons scored a career-high 25 points and finished with a career-high 3 blocks. Junior Kenny Frease recorded a double-double by scoring 11 points and grabbing a game-high and career-high 18 boards. Senior Jamel McLean also had a double-double with a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds.
McLean put Xavier ahead in the third overtime with a lay-in on an assist by senior Dante Jackson. After Holloway and Jeff Robinson each made one-of-two free throws and Lyons sank a pair of free throws the Musketeers held a six-point advantage with 1:42 remaining in the third overtime. Noah Dahlman responded for Wofford with a six-point run of his own. Holloway sank a jumper to put Xavier up two with nine seconds left. Lyons corralled a Terrier miss with 1.3 seconds remaining and made both free throws to seal the victory for Xavier.
Xavier quickly jumped out to a four point lead in the second overtime behind baskets from Frease and McLean. Brad Loesing answered with a three from the corner and Tim Johnson scored on an offensive rebound to give the Terriers the lead with 2:38 remaining. After a Wofford free throw, Mark Lyons scored on a lay-in to tie the game at 83. With 23.3 seconds left in the second overtime, Johnson made a free throw to give Wofford a one-point lead. McLean was fouled and sank one-of-two free throws to tie the game. Wofford drove down the floor and put up a shot at the buzzer that went in the basket. However, after a second look on the replay monitor by the referees, the basket was disallowed and sent the game into a third overtime.
A McLean free throw gave Xavier a one point lead in the first overtime, the two teams exchanged a pair of baskets and Xavier maintained its one point advantage with 2:18 to play in overtime. On the ensuing possession Loesing sank a three-pointer from the left wing giving Wofford a two point lead.
McLean made the second of a pair of free throws with 59 seconds left in the first overtime to pull within a point. Wofford's Dahlman completed a three-point play with 40 seconds remaining giving them a four point advantage. Lyons countered with a lay-in of his own to pull within two. Following a Dahlman free throw, Holloway raced down the floor for a lay-up and pulled within one. Dahlman made a fast break layup leading to a dramatic ending to the first overtime. Jackson was fouled on the inbounds pass and sank the first. After intentionally missing the second, McLean tapped the ball high into the air and it found the bottom of the net to send the game into the second overtime.
A Wofford 3-pointer at the beginning of the second half cut the Xavier lead to four points. Xavier answered by going on a 9-2 run over the next 5:48 to take a 44-33 lead at the 14:46 mark. Wofford went on a 25-6 run to take an eight point lead into the final media timeout.
Xavier responded by going on a 6-0 run of its own on the first three possessions out of the timeout to cut the lead to two. All six points were scored by Holloway from the free throw line. After a pair of Terrier free throws from Jamar Diggs, Holloway countered with another pair of his own again cutting the lead to two.
With just over a minute to play, McLean scored on a tip-in to tie the game. After a missed Wofford jumper, Lyons was fouled in the scramble for the loose ball. Lyons calmly sank both free throws giving Xavier the two point lead. Cameron Rundles came back a knocked down a jumper with 10.8 seconds left to tie the game. Holloway's three-point attempt fell short forcing the second overtime battle of the season for Xavier.
Saturday's game marked the fourth triple overtime game in Xavier's history; the last was a 90-86 set-back at Massachusetts in 2005. Xavier is now 3-1 all-time in triple overtime games.
At the end of the first half of action, Xavier held a 35-28 lead over Wofford. Holloway led all scorers at the half with 13 points and six assists. Frease scored eight points and hauled in four rebounds. Xavier led by as many as 12 points in the half.
Wofford was led by Dahlman with game-high 33 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Diggs contributed 15 points for the Terriers who fall to 2-5 on the season.
The Xavier men's basketball team will be in action on Wednesday, December 1 against Miami (Ohio) in Oxford, Ohio. Game time against the RedHawks is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET at Millett Hall and can be viewed on FOX Sports Ohio.