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Duncan's late 3-pointer helps Xavier to seventh straight win

Feb 14, 2008 - 5:45 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Josh Duncan and No. 13 Xavier were pushed to the limit once again - and once again they responded.

Duncan scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half and hit a game-clinching 3-pointer in the final seconds to lead the Musketeers to a 62-60 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday in an Atlantic 10 Conference showdown.

Duncan also scored 13 points on Sunday when Xavier reeled off the final eight points of the game to post a 76-72 win over St. Joseph's.

Normally a balanced scoring team that features six players in double figures, Xavier shot just 39 (17-of-43) percent from the floor.

Drew Lavender was held scoreless for the first time all season and Stanley Burrell, who finished with nine points, was hampered by foul trouble. Xavier also committed 23 turnovers.

But none of it mattered as Duncan got hot and helped the Musketeers (21-4, 9-1 A-10) to their seventh straight win by drilling the important 3-pointer with 16 seconds left.

The 6-9 senior finished 6-of-8 from the floor - making all five of his 3-pointers - and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. As it turned out, Xavier needed every bit of it to hold off Charlotte.

The game was back-and-forth the entire second half with the 49ers trailing by single digits for most of the way.

Xavier went on a 7-0 run to take a 57-50 lead with 5:20 left, but failed to score on four straight possessions. Charlotte took advantage and pulled even for a third time at 58-58 when Charles Dewhurst hit a pair of free throws with 2:10 left.

But Duncan came up with a huge play with the game tied at 58-58 as he drew a charge with 1:30 after Leemire Goldwire appeared to hit a shot.

Following a free throw from C.J. Anderson, Xavier held on the defensive end before Duncan took a pass from Lavender and hit his final shot from the arc to put his team up 62-58 with 16 seconds left, essentially sealing the win.

Goldwire scored 15 of his 31 points in the first half as Charlotte (14-9, 5-4) played toe-to-toe with Xavier and led, 32-31, after 20 minutes.

Goldwire got Burrell, the Musketeers' best defender, in foul trouble early and capitalized by hitting four of his seven 3-pointers in the first half. He then forced Burrell to the bench again by drawing a fourth foul just 1:33 into the second half.

Meanwhile, Xavier looked nothing like the team that leads the Atlantic 10 in the first half as it had more turnovers (14) than field goals (9).

Unfortunately for the 49ers, Goldwire was their whole offense as the rest of the team shot 9-for-38.