for this game

Brown, Xavier battle past Cincinnati

Dec 14, 2008 - 6:07 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- For a second straight year, Xavier is the king of the "The Queen City."

Derrick Brown scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before being ejected as ninth-ranked Xavier pulled out a tough 76-66 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday.

C.J. Anderson had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Dante Jackson scored 15 for the Musketeers (9-0), who beat their crosstown rivals for the second straight time and ninth in the last 13 meetings.

"The story for us is this: we have some older players in our program and they are winners," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "When you play any hostile game, especially on the road, you hope your veterans can set the tone for everybody else."

Xavier started the game strong, grabbing a 19-7 lead just under 11 minutes into the contest and holding a 39-25 advantage at the half.

Despite the magnitude of the contest, the Bearcats (6-2) were sloppy at start, committing 14 turnovers in the opening half.

"We had fourteen turnovers, but bad shots can be considered a turnover," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "We had at least ten bad shots. Then you wonder why they had 39 points because you can't defend run outs. If they don't have all the run outs that they had, they struggle to score. That is what killed us."

Regardless of the bad start, Cincinnati rallied, closing within 59-56 on Steve Toyloy's putback with 8 1/2 minutes left.

"It is scary when you have a halftime lead like we did because you know they will come out with their backs up against the wall," Miller said.

Yet, Brown stepped up minutes before picking up his second technical, grabbing a steal on consecutive defensive possessions before getting fouled and making two free throws. The second pair supplied the Musketeers with a 68-58 advantage with 2:30 left.

It was the only two steals of the game for the 6-8 junior forward, who finished 8-of-8 from the stripe.

He was tossed from the game 70 seconds later, jawing at the Bearcats after he was fouled grabbing a defensive rebound. In all, there were four technicals called in the contest, as both teams were guilty of a lot of brash talk.

Xavier benefited from all the technicals and physical play, ending up 29-of-36 on free throws. It made nine more than Cincinnati attempted (17-of-20).

"Our number one game plan was to not lose this game by giving away free throws and layups," Cronin said. "That is what exactly what happened."

Deonta Vaughn played a huge part in the Bearcats' second half rally, scoring 19 of his 27 points after intermission.

"I tell him be assertive all the time," Cronin said. "He missed wide-open shots in the first half. When we did execute in the first half, he missed. He isn't always going to make shots, but we need to rebound."

"For the second half, Deonta was almost unstoppable," Miller said.

While Vaughn owned the second half, Jackson ruled the opening 20 minutes, scoring all of his career-high 15 points before the break.

"The coaches just say shoot when you are open," the sophomore guard said. "I felt like I was open. I was kind of struggling with my confidence, but I'm OK (now)."