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Raymond leads the charge as Xavier beats Charlotte

Jan 29, 2009 - 4:25 AM CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Xavier used a hot start to continue its torrid play at home.

B.J. Raymond scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as 10th-ranked Xavier notched its ninth straight victory by vanquishing Charlotte, 69-47, on Wednesday.

"I thought the storyline for the game tonight was the play of B.J. Raymond," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "He did it all. It's hard to get 20 points and 10 rebounds in the college game. He was clearly the best player in the game."

Kenny Frease added a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Musketeers (18-2, 6-0 A-10), who have won 18 in a row at home and are 39-3 here since the start of the 2006-07 campaign.

"We don't like to leak out as guards here at Xavier. We want to help out the big men," said Raymond, who registered his second career double-double. "We want to make sure we punish them on the glass. I took my time on all my threes today. My mechanics were working well."

Charlie Coley netted 12 points to pace Charlotte (6-13, 1-5), which has lost seven of eight following a four-game winning streak.

"Xavier was very dominant tonight," Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz said. "Their defense was excellent in the first half. Right now they're clearly the best team in the conference and they deserve their ranking, top 10, top 12, whatever it might be."

After starting the game with a 7-0 run, Xavier ran its lead to 31-13 at the half en route to matching its best start in conference play since the 2001-02 campaign.

Xavier held Charlotte to the lowest output by an opponent in either half this year. The previous low was 14 points by IPFW on November 14.

After Mack made a layup at 13:22, the 49ers finished the first half hitting just one of their final 14 shots.

The Musketeers, who have not lost to a conference opponent at home since a 68-58 loss to St. Joseph's on February 28, 2006, received 10 points, five boards and three assists from C.J. Anderson.

Xavier did not let up as the contest went on, and ballooned its advantage to 22 when Coley converted a dunk with 3:48 remaining in the second half.

"We made it hard for them to score at times," Frease said. "That's what we have to be in the future. We've always been a team that's been very focused. It's been documented that both teams we lost to (Duke and Butler) are really good teams."

It also held Charlotte to just 30.9 percent shooting (17-for-55) from the field. The defensive performance marked the 14th time in 20 games that the Musketeers have held their opponent under 40 percent.

Lamont Mack chipped in 11 points and four boards for the 49ers, who dropped their fifth straight contest on the road.

Meanwhile, Derrick Brown netted two points on 1-of-7 shooting, but pulled down 11 rebounds for Xavier.

"I really applaud Derrick on a night when he didn't score so much he really helped his team," Frease said.