Burrell, Lavender Help Xavier Past Miami

The backcourt tandem of Drew Lavender and Stanley Burrell combined for 28 points and nine assists in XU's 68-53 win over Miami on Wednesday night.

The backcourt tandem of Drew Lavender and Stanley Burrell combined for 28 points and nine assists in XU's 68-53 win over Miami on Wednesday night.

Nov. 29, 2006

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CINCINNATI - In the 94th meeting between the schools, Xavier prevailed over Miami University, 68-53, on Wednesday evening at Cintas Center. The XU tandem of Stanley Burrell and Drew Lavender combined for 28 points and nine assists to help the Musketeers past the RedHawks. The win moves Xavier to 5-1 on the season, while MU falls to 3-4 overall.

"We probably had more points in transition tonight than any team that's played Miami this season," said head coach Sean Miller. "I thought Drew [Lavender] and Stanley [Burrell] played great in transition. They had 10 field goals between them tonight and that's hard to do against Miami."

Xavier jumped out to the early advantage and scored the opening basket as senior Justin Doellman took a feed from junior Josh Duncan and converted the layup. The RedHawks would respond on the next trip down the floor and knot the score at 2-2 but that would be as close as the visitors would get for the remainder of the contest.

XU would not miss a shot from the field until the 15:15 mark in the first half. The Musketeers were 5-for-5 to start the game, including 2-for-2 from long distance.

Miami would trim the XU lead to only four with 10:55 after Tim Pollitz converted back-to-back buckets but a RedHawks' drought would ensue for the next 4:21. In that time, the Blue and White could only convert five points to push the lead to nine at 23-14.

The Musketeers would extend the lead to a half-high 13 points with 3:00 remaining in the first half after Drew Lavender knocked down his third trey of the half to put the score at 31-18. Lavender would finish the half with nine points in the half, 3-for-4 from the floor and a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc.

MU looked to end the half on a quick 6-2 spurt before two free throws by Burrell pushed the Xavier lead back to nine, 35-26, to close out the first half.

Justin Cage led the Musketeers out of the break as the senior tallied the first two baskets in the second half to extend Xavier's advantage to 13 points, 39-26.

Miami's Nathan Peavy would help whittle the Xavier lead to six, 52-46, with 8:42 remaining in the game. The senior posted back-to-back buckets which included a failed free throw conversion after being fouled and making the layup.

Xavier would answer with a 10-0 run over the next 3:02 to extend the advantage back to 16 points, 62-46, and put the game out of reach. The run was capped by an acrobatic dunk by Derrick Brown, who was fouled on the play but failed to convert the free throw.

A balanced night on the scoresheet would help XU notch its best shooting performance of the season at 54.5 percent (22-for-44). The Musketeers would also hold the RedHawks to a mere 10 percent (2-for-20) shooting from behind the arc, which marked another season-best.

Burrell lead the way on the evening totaling 15 points on 5-of-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from deep. Lavender was the only other Musketeer in double figures as the junior finished with 13 points on 5-of-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from long range. He also dished out a game-high five assists and added a steal. Doellman led the way on the boards with a team-high seven to go along with his eight points, which now puts him only 10 points away from 1,000 points for his career.

This meeting marked the 94th meeting all-time between the two schools. The all-time series is tied for the second-most games between the Musketeers and an opponent with Detroit being the other school. The Xavier-Dayton matchup marks the most times a team has played the Blue and White with the two squaring off 141 times.

The Musketeers will return to the court this Saturday, December 2, as XU welcomes Western Carolina to Cintas Center for a noon tip. The Catamounts are currently 3-1 and played Wofford this evening in Spartanburg, S.C. It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.