82 - 56 Final
  for this game

No. 25 Xavier hands Fordham 20th straight loss

Mar 4, 2010 - 7:54 PM By JIM O'CONNELL AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK(AP) -- Jamel McLean scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half and No. 25 Xavier beat Fordham 82-56 on Wednesday night, handing the Rams their 20th consecutive loss.

It was the sixth straight win and 10th in 11 games for the Musketeers (22-7, 13-2), who entered the day tied with No. 20 Temple for first place in the Atlantic 10.

Xavier moved into the Top 25 on Monday for the first time this season following its 78-76 double-overtime win against Richmond. The Musketeers have been ranked in each of the last four seasons.

Terrell Holloway had 14 points for Xavier and Jordan Crawford and Mark Lyons both added 11. Jason Love had eight points and 13 rebounds as the Musketeers finished with a 56-41 advantage on the boards.

Chris Gaston had 15 points and 13 rebounds, the 18th double-double of the season for the freshman, for the Rams (2-25, 0-15), who close their season Friday at Duquesne.

Lyons hit two 3-pointers in Xavier's 12-3 run to close the first half for a 45-31 lead.

The first time these teams met, in Cincinnati on Jan. 31, Xavier led 45-32 at halftime and went on to score 63 points in the second half for a 108-60 victory.

On Wednesday, the Musketeers only had 37 points in the second half but were still able to beat Fordham for an eighth straight time. They improved their record to 18-1 in the series since the schools joined the Atlantic 10 for the 1995-96 season.

Xavier is looking for its fourth straight A-10 regular season title and its eighth overall.

Fordham, which has had one winning season in the A-10, is looking for its eighth conference win over the last three years.

Crawford had the last five points of Xavier's 15-6 run to open the second half. Combined with the 12-3 run to close the first half, the Musketeers went on a 27-9 spurt that made it 60-37 with 15:53 to play.

Fordham interim coach Jared Grasso, who took over when Dereck Whittenburg was fired on Dec. 3, saw his record fall to 1-20.