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Raymond shoots Miller to 100th win at Xavier

Dec 4, 2008 - 6:03 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Once again, B.J. Raymond lit up Auburn.

Raymond scored a career-high 32 points as No. 14 Xavier continued its impressive start with an 81-74 victory over Auburn on Wednesday.

Behind the big effort of Raymond, the Musketeers improved to 7-0 while coach Sean Miller upped his record to 100-39 in his fifth season with the school.

"It feels good to be 7-0," Miller said. "I'm honored to be the coach at Xavier. The way I look at it, I've won 100 games for Xavier. It's really special to be the coach here."

Miller is the third coach in school history to accomplish the feat, as Pete Gillen (277) and Skip Prosser (148) are the others.

It was a relatively easy win thanks to Raymond, who dialed it up against the Tigers for the second straight year.

Last season, Raymond hit a then-career-high six 3-pointers en route to scoring 18 points in an 80-57 triumph on the road on January 6. This time, the 6-6 senior knocked down seven from the arc en route to another career best.

Surprisingly, Raymond had been struggling coming in, shooting 29 percent (12-of-42) in his previous four games while averaging 10.5 points.

"My shot preparation has been off the last couple of games," Raymond said. "But I had the hot hand tonight. I went back to the drawing board on my mechanics."

Dante Jackson had 13 points and Derrick Brown added 12 for Xavier, which continued its best start since the 1996-97 campaign, when it won its first 10 contests.

Raymond had four baskets from the arc and scored 16 points in the first half to lead the Musketeers to a 37-26 lead at the break. He added another in the opening moments of the second half as Xavier came out of the intermission with an 11-2 run.

The swingman later added consecutive 3-pointers to give the Musketeers a 66-53 advantage with 6:02 remaining while also surpassing his previous career high scoring effort of 22 points.

"B.J. had arguably one of the best games I've ever seen a Xavier player play, at least in my eight seasons here," Miller said. "There's no player that deserves what he's getting more than him. He's just getting better and more comfortable."

Despite the sizzling shooting of Raymond, the Tigers were able to close within 70-63 when Johnnie Lett grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback with 2:50 to play. Yet, Lett missed the ensuing free throw.

"I want to credit Auburn," Miller said. "Those guys, they just kept fighting and trapping. In the last 12 minutes they scored 40 points."

After some early free throw issues, Xavier wrapped up the game at the stripe, converting 11-of-14. Overall, it went 22-of-36 from the line.

Frankie Sullivan scored a career-high 23 points for Auburn (3-4), which lost its third straight.