Mark Lyons recorded his first double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Dec. 25, 2011
HONOLULU - Two players recorded their first-career double-doubles and Tu Holloway had his second 20-plus point effort in as many games for Xavier who beat Southern Illinois, 87-77, in the program's first Christmas Day game.
The Musketeers snapped their first three-game losing streak since the 2004-05 and move to 9-3 on the season after completing the three-game Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The Salukis dropped their third game in a row and stand at 3-8 on the season.
Holloway went off for a team-high 21 points and involved his teammates with seven assists. Mark Lyons and Andre Walker both recorded their first career double-doubles. Each finished with 10 rebounds while Lyons scored 17 and Walker had 13 - a new Xavier career best - for the Musketeers.
The biggest difference in the Musketeers' win was the 36 points that came via the free-throw line. Holloway missed just once in 15 chances and Walker, Jeff Robinson, and Travis Taylor each had over five.
Xavier forced only 11 turnovers but made the most out of those chances scoring 17 points, compared to the eight scored by Southern Illinois.
Southern Illinois kept within striking distance of the Musketeers for most of the second half, even after Xavier moved out to a 12-point lead at the 13:44 mark on Brad Redford's long distance 3-pointer.
Momentuem swung in the Musketeers' favor during a four-minute stretch late in the second half. Southern Illinois went just 1-of-8 from the field during that time and Xavier score six points, setting up what would be several foul shots for the Musketeers at the end of the game.
Xavier finished shooting just over 47 percent (24-of-51) on the day and hit three 3-pointers. Southern Illinois shot 40 percent (28-of-70) from the floor and 5-of-20 from 3-point land. The attempted shot difference was made in free throws attempts where the Musketeers had a season-high 48 attempts compared to the Salukis' 22.
Dantiel Daniels had a game-high 22 points for the Salukis and Mamadou Seck finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair for the most part with five ties and six lead changes. Xavier took over the lead - which they wouldn't relinquish - at the 10:09 mark when Jeff Robinson made a free throw. Over that period the Musketeers scored eight unanswered points in part of an 11-2 run.
Southern Illinois managed to pull within one point, 24-23, but Walker had two baskets to push Xavier's lead back to seven with 4:31 remaining. Holloway hit his first two field goals in the closing seconds of the half to give Xavier the 42-36 lead at the break.
Walker had 11 points and five rebounds to lead the Musketeers at the break. It was a new first-half high for him at Xavier.
The Musketeers managed to stay out of foul trouble in the first half, drawing only seven whistles. Throughout the tournament Xavier had several of its key players on the bench in foul trouble.
In the half, Xavier hit 45.2 percent (14-of-31) of its shots and hit on just 1-of-2 shots from behind the arc. Southern Illinois hit 43.3 percent (13-of-30) from the floor and converted 37.5 percent (4-of-11) from deep range.
Xavier returns to Cincinnati to host Gonzaga beginning at 8 p.m. ET on New Year's Eve at Cintas Center. The game can be seen live on ESPN2.