65 - 74 Final
  for this game

Top seed Xavier survives Dayton in A-10 quarters

Mar 13, 2008 - 9:15 PM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTIC CITY (Ticker) - Josh Duncan led five players in double figures with 16 points and ignited a key second-half rally as 12th-ranked Xavier held off upset-minded Dayton, 74-65, in an Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday.

C.J. Anderson added 15 points, Stanley Burrell had 13, Drew Lavender 12 and Derrick Brown 11 for top-seeded Xavier (27-5), which will face fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's in the semifinals Friday. The Hawks defeated Richmond by a 61-47 score.

Marcus Johnson led Dayton (21-10) with a career-high 26 points and Brian Roberts added 13.

"I want to congratulate Dayton on an excellent season," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "Every time we play them, it's a heck of a tough game."

The Flyers had rallied from a 12-point first half deficit to take a 44-41 lead with 13:34 left in the game. Duncan then tied the game with a 3-pointer, triggering a 13-2 run for the Musketeers.

"We're poised in rough moments and we don't get rattled any more," Burrell said. "In years past, things would really continue to go downhill for us. This year is so different. We stay together no matter what, especially in close games."

Duncan gave Xavier the lead for good, 48-46, with 11:30 remaining on a short hook shot in the lane and capped the spurt with a 3-pointer to make it, 54-46, with 10:16 left.

"We wanted to come to here and advance as far as we can," Duncan said. "Everybody on this team just has a mind-set. We're not settling for anything."

Dayton never got closer than six points the rest of the way. The win was the sixth straight for the Musketeers over their in-state rivals. Xavier also improved to 4-0 all-time against Dayton in the A-10 Tournament.

"That's the advantage of having the bye," Miller said. "I thought as much as we did (to win), it was more along the lines that (Dayton) seemed to run out of gas. The longer the game went, the more advantageous it would be for us having (not played Wednesday)."

It was the seventh time this season that five players have reached double digits in scoring for Xavier.

A 3-pointer by Jimmie Binnie capped an early 9-0 run to give the Flyers a 10-4 lead just over four minutes into the contest. The Musketeers came back to tie it at 12-12 before Johnson scored five straight to give Dayton a 17-12 lead with 11:56 left.

Xavier then erupted for 13 straight points on its way to a 23-6 run. The Musketeers hit four 3-pointers during the outburst with Lavender connecting on two of them as Xavier grabbed a 35-23 advantage with 2:22 remaining.

"I thought we did some really good things today," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said. "But when you play a team with the caliber like Xavier, you have to do those things the entire game."

However, Dayton responded with a scoring spurt of its own that carried over into the second half. The Flyers scored six consecutive points to pull within 35-29 at halftime.

Dayton opened the second half on a 15-6 run to grab a three-point lead.

Xavier and Saint Joseph's split the regular season series, with the Hawks defeating the Musketeers in their most recent meeting, 71-66, in the final game at Saint Joseph's Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.