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Raymond leads Xavier to fifth straight win

Jan 10, 2008 - 5:26 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Kicking off its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule did not slow down 25th-ranked Xavier.

B.J. Raymond scored 21 points to lift the Musketeers to their fifth consecutive victory Wednesday night, an 83-68 triumph over St. Bonaventure in the conference opener for both schools.

Xavier (13-3, 1-0 A-10) has had little trouble over its current winning streak, besting each of its opponents by at least 15 points.

"Tonight we weren't clicking on all cylinders and we know that," Raymond said. "We might have been believing the hype. No credit taken away from them, they played a great game."

The contest was rarely in doubt as the Musketeers jumped out to an early 11-2 lead after Derrick Brown's driving dunk and took a 44-30 advantage into the break.

"Xavier's a terrific team and they deserved to be ranked where they were," Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. "They're a very talented team. I'm proud of how we fought. That's what you live for, to play against a Top 25 team.

"We didn't back down. We didn't get intimidated. We just lost to a better team. They are playing really, really well and it's probably a bad time to play them."

Raymond paced Xavier, shooting 7-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-10 from the arc. The junior swingman has now shot 15-of-23 from 3-point range over the last three contests.

C.J. Anderson also scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Musketeers, who broke the game open midway through the second half when a 14-2 run gave them a 79-53 edge with 7:03 left in the contest.

"Tonight it was me and B.J," Anderson said. "We did what we had to do to win the game."

"Any time a guy gets five offensive rebounds like C.J. did, you have to take your hat off to him," Xavier coach Sean Miller said.

Zarryon Fereti finished with 22 points and connected on 5-of-7 shots from the arc for the Bonnies (6-9, 0-1), who have lost four of their last five games. The senior from Australia has scored 43 points and knocked down nine 3-pointers in his last two contests.

Michael Lee had 21 points and 12 rebounds with two blocks for St. Bonaventure, which shot 46 percent (25-of-54) from the field.

"Michael Lee and Fereti, I'm sure one, if not both, has a chance to be all-conference," Miller said. "Tonight I had the feeling those two guys were going to score every time down."

Drew Lavender and Stanley Burrell each dished out five assists for Xavier, which shot 50 percent (29-of-58) and committed just 10 turnovers.

    --- --- -----
    ST BONAVENTURE 30 38 68
    XAVIER (25) 44 39 83 FINAL

    Jan 9 8:54 PM


    Jan 9 7:49 PM