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Duncan, Xavier use balanced attack to dismantle Oakland

Nov 29, 2007 - 3:53 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Josh Duncan and 25th-ranked Xavier believe in strength in numbers.

Duncan scored 18 points and the Musketeers had all five starters reach double figures as they coasted to a 93-68 victory over Oakland on Wednesday.

Stanley Burrell added 17 points and Derrick Brown chipped in 15 for Xavier, which has six players averaging at least nine points.

In addition to that, four players made at least two 3-pointers for the Musketeers, who shot 45 percent (11-of-24) from the arc.

"We have a number of different players who can do different things," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "On a given day, as we move through the long course of the season, I think it's really healthy to have a lot of people who can score."

Duncan hit 5-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-5 from the arc.

"It felt pretty good," Duncan said of his outside shooting. "My teammates did a good job finding me open."

Xavier avoided a potential trap game, using a big first half against a tough Oakland team that was coming off a 75-71 loss to Michigan State on Saturday.

Xavier (5-1) shot 57 percent (18-of-33) in the first half, breaking open the game with a 16-6 run to take a 51-33 lead into intermission.

"I thought tonight's victory was impressive on our end, because coming in, we really respected Oakland," Miller said. "They played Michigan State to the wire. I credit our players coming in ready to play. Our numbers at halftime reflected a pretty good offensive effort."

The Musketeers also played well on defense as they held Brandon Cassise, who came in averaging 17.8 points, to just one field goal.

"I credit our players for doing a really good job in not letting him get clean looks," Miller said.

Unfortunately for Oakland (2-4), the 18-point halftime margin was as close as it would get the rest of the way.

The Musketeers opened the second half with a 14-2 tear, which Burrell capped with a layup that stretched the lead to 65-35 with 15:41 left.

Johnathon Jones scored 17 for the Golden Grizzlies, who shot 41 (24-of-58) percent from the floor, and trailed by as many 29 in the second half.

    --- --- -----
    OAKLAND 33 35 68
    XAVIER (25) 51 42 93 FINAL

    Nov 28 8:58 PM

    OAKLAND 33

    Nov 28 7:50 PM