Men's Hoops Defeats Crosstown Rival Cincinnati, 83-79, in Double-Overtime Thriller

Jason Love

Jason Love

Dec. 13, 2009

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CINCINNATI - Sophomore guard Terrell Holloway scored a career-high 26 points and senior center Jason Love made the final two buckets of the game to lead the Xavier University men's basketball team to an 83-79 double-overtime victory over No. 19 Cincinnati in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout on Sunday evening at Cintas Center. With the win, Xavier improves to 6-3 on the season while the Bearcats slip to 6-2.

Xavier has now won six of the last eight Crosstown Shootouts, including three straight.

The two teams entered the second OT tied at 74 and Cincinnati once again took an early lead, 79-76, after Yancey Gates connected on a short jumper at the three-minute mark. But in the theme of the night, XU once again answered the bell. Jordan Crawford made one free throw on the ensuing possession and then Holloway made a big play on the defensive end by taking a charge to force a turnover.

Jason Love then slipped the screen, took a feed from Crawford and converted on the open layup. UC's Steve Toyloy missed both of his attempts from the free throw line on the next possession and Love took advantage by making another big shot to give XU the lead for good, 81-79, with 40-seconds to go.

XU held UC without a field goal for the final three-minutes of the second overtime to clinch the win.

Holloway's career high came on 7-of-13 shooting and he made all 11 of his attempts from the free throw stripe. Love ended the night with seven points and he tied a career high with 19 big rebounds. He also swatted four shots on the night.

The two teams went into the first overtime session tied up at 61 and OT was a microcosm of the game, featuring three ties and one lead change. After Kenny Frease converted on a layup with 2:30 to go to tie the game at 67, UC scored the next five points, including a Deonta Vaughn fast break layup with one-minute to go to give UC a 72-67 edge.

Holloway single-handedly got the Musketeers back within one point by burying four free throws and forcing a turnover. XU was forced to foul Dion Dixon on the ensuing possession and he made both of his attempts from the charity stripe but Holloway answered the bell once again, this time by converting on an old-fashioned 3-point play with 19-second remaining. Holloway drove the lane, pulled up and kissed it off the glass while being hacked. He calmly stepped to the line and swished the free throw attempt to electrify the sell-out crowd.

Stephenson got off a contested 3-pointer but it clanged off the rim to send the game into a second extra session.

Crawford ended the night with 16 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Mark Lyons chipped in with 11 points and was 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.

UC turned a 10-point second-half deficit into a four-point edge, 55-51 with 5:40 left in regulation, thanks in large part to Xavier's second offensive drought of the game. However, the Musketeers got off the mat and scored the next six points to reclaim a 57-55 lead after Crawford buried a turnaround jumper in the lane at the 3:20 mark.

UC would not go away though and tied the game up on two more occasions; the last coming after Lance Stephenson converted on a layup with only 15-seconds remaining. XU came down and Holloway got a good look in the corner. He missed but the rebound was collected by Dante Jackson who made a 10-footer a fraction of a second after time expired.

Xavier held UC to just 37.6 percent from the field, including 22.7 percent from long-range. Xavier shot 41.7 percent on the night and was a solid 28-of-36 (77.8 percent) from the charity stripe. UC out-rebounded XU by a 52-to-43 count but Xavier held a 32-to-29 edge on the defensive glass.

Xavier led by five points, 31-26, at the half and extended its lead to 10 points, 45-35, after Crawford buried a 3-pointer with 14:10 remaining in regulation. Crawford keyed the run with five points in a one-minute stretch.

XU would convert on only one field goal over the next 9:50 and the Bearcats took advantage. UC chugged out to a 20-6 run over an 8:30 stretch and constructed a four-point edge, 55-51, after Vaughn converted on a layup at the 5:40 mark. UC's Lance Stephenson keyed the run with seven unanswered points in a 1:50 span to get the Bearcats back in it.

The Musketeers sprung out of the gate and opened up a 12-5 lead after Crawford buried a couple of free throws with 14:30 remaining. However, the Musketeers went cold and suffered through a 9:30 field goal drought. The drought allowed UC to build only a seven-point lead though, 19-12 at the 7:50 mark.

However, Xavier responded with an electrifying 12-2 run over the next four-minutes and seized a 24-21 edge with 3:50 to go. The run was capped by a Holloway driving layup and featured a pair of play stoppages due to hard fouls and on-court disagreements between the two teams.

Cincinnati would tie the game up at 26 with 2:30 left in the first half but Holloway answered with five consecutive points to give the Musketeers a 31-26 lead at the break. Holloway scored 11 points in the first stanza.

Xavier will return to action on Saturday, December 19 when the team travels to Indianapolis to take on Butler. Game time is set for 2 p.m. and the contest will be televised nationally by ESPN2.