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Brown helps Xavier hold off Miami, Ohio

Nov 30, 2008 - 5:11 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Derrick Brown scored a career-high 23 points and No. 20 Xavier held on for a 60-53 win over upset-minded Miami, Ohio on Saturday.

B.J. Raymond scored 13 points and C.J. Anderson added 11 for the Musketeers (6-0), who are off to their best start since the 1996-97 season when they won their first 10 games.

"I thought tonight was our best win of the season," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "Derrick Brown played his best game ever here at Xavier. It was B.J. (Raymond), Derrick, and C.J. (Anderson) in the second half. We defended and we rebounded, and those are two things we are good at."

Brown shot 6-of-10 from the floor and hit 10-of-13 from the free-throw line, helping the cold-shooting Musketeers hold off the Redhawks. Xavier shot just 37.5 percent (18-of-48) from the floor and missed 16 free throws (22-of-38).

While Brown picked up the slack offensively, Raymond switched over to play point guard after Dante Jackson left with cramps. Xavier is already without freshman Terrell Holloway, who is out at least two weeks with a stress fracture in his left foot.

"The oldest players on the team have to lead the team," Brown said. "Our team never quits."

The Musketeers got all they could handle from Miami.

Kenny Hayes had 19 points for the Redhawks (2-3), who have lost seven of the last nine meetings with Xavier. Miami nearly upset then-No. 4 UCLA earlier this month and played No. 4 Pittsburgh tough for 20 minutes.

The Redhawks led, 36-30, early in the second half, but the Musketeers took control with a 17-6 run. Raymond's 3-pointer gave Xavier a 41-38 lead, and Anderson's layup made it 47-42 with 4:58 to play.

"When Raymond hit that three on us, we had no guys on him," Miami coach Charlie Coles said. "They were looking at him, but they weren't on him. When the year's over, I'll bet you he'll be 40 percent for threes. He's just getting warmed up."

Michael Bramos' 3-pointer cut the lead to one point at 48-47 with 3:13 to play. That was as close as the Redhawks would get.

"Xavier just came off that Puerto Rico tournament, but I honestly think we tested them better than any of those three teams," Bramos said.

Jamel McLean's dunk made it a three-point game with 2:45 remaining. A pair of free throws from Brown and a layup by Anderson made it 54-47 with 1:18 left, and the Musketeers hit six of their final seven free throws to seal it.

Bramos scored 15 points for Miami, which shot just 32 percent (19-of-58) from the floor.

"We played a great team with two outstanding players, Mike Bramos and Kenny Hayes," Miller said. "They can play anywhere in the country."

The Redhawks opened the game with a 10-2 run, but the Musketeers closed the half on a 13-4 spurt to pull within 27-24 after 20 minutes.

Brown hit 3-pointer and four consecutive free throws with 1:12 left to tie it at 24-24, but Bramos hit a 35-footer at the buzzer to make it a three-point game.