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Dayton edges top-seeded Xavier in A-10 quarters

Mar 12, 2011 - 3:36 AM Atlantic City, NJ (Sports Network) - Luke Fabrizius' free throws with 5.6 seconds remaining lifted Dayton to a 68-67 upset win over top-seeded Xavier in quarterfinal action of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at Boardwalk Hall.

Paul Williams had 14 points and Chris Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the ninth-seeded Flyers (21-12), which beat Xavier for the first time in three tries this season and now faces Saint Joseph's in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Flyers, who moved into this round with a lopsided win over Massachusetts in a first round matchup on Tuesday, also beat Xavier for the first time in six A-10 Tournament meetings.

Tu Holloway led all scorers with 23 points for the regular season champion Musketeers (24-7), who had a nine-game winning streak stopped, as the current No. 18 team in the nation fell for the just the second time in their last 18 games overall.

Xavier becomes the first top seed to lose in its first game of the tournament since George Washington fell to Temple in 2006. Ironically that was the last year the Musketeers won their league's tournament, despite having won or shared the regular-season title in each of the past five seasons.

The Musketeers, who were down by as many as 17 points in the second half, trailed the entire game until Holloway's free throw capped a terrific three- point play to give the Xavier a 67-66 advantage with 23.9 seconds remaining.

Fabrizius was then fouled at the other end and hit both shots to put the Flyers back up 68-67 with 5.8 seconds left.

Holloway then missed a long three at the other end, securing Dayton's first win over a ranked opponent since November of 2009.

"I know we only had five seconds left," Holloway said. "I was trying to catch the ball on the run and try to make a play, but actually (Juwan) Staten got a hand in there on Kenny (Frease) and they were able slow us down a little bit. But it was a good shot. I actually should have squared up more and try to shoot. I shot that like a one-legged runner."

The Flyers are seeking their first tournament crown since coming away with their only title in 2003.

"We didn't want Holloway to beat us," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said. "He's a great player. Talk to another A-10 coach, called him an assassin, and that's kind of what he is. We wanted to corral and then jump him and double team him. And there wasn't a lot of time left. Juwan did a great job of disrupting that handoff to him right there, which kind of threw him off rhythm a little bit."

Dayton jumped out to a 9-0 lead before Holloway got the Musketeers on the board with a long three. Johnson, though, answered at the other end with a three of his own.

The Flyers eventually pushed their lead to 18 thanks to a 12-0 run which was capped by a Williams trey that made it 21-3 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first half.

Dayton was sizzling from the floor at the start, as it opened the game four- of-five from beyond the arc and 8-of-10 overall.

Xavier, though, scored 15 of the next 19 points to get the lead down to seven, 25-18, with 8:08 remaining.

Dayton again pushed its lead to double digits and went ahead 30-18 on an acrobatic layup by Johnson. However, the Musketeers chipped away and went into the locker room trailing by nine, 36-27.

Xavier started 1-for-10 from the floor, but closed the half hitting nine of its final 16 shots. After its hot start, the Flyers finished the first stanza connecting on 54-percent (14-of-26) of their shots.

Game Notes

XU was trying to reach 25 wins for the fifth straight season...This was the fourth meeting in the last five years between these teams in this tournament.