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Xavier deals Memphis a loss in Puerto Rico

Nov 24, 2008 - 4:36 AM SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Ticker) -- Freshman Terrell Holloway scored 13 points and went 10-for-10 from free-throw line as Xavier held off No. 12 Memphis, 63-58, in the final of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Sunday.

Jamel McLean and B.J. Raymond added 11 points and Jason Love pulled down eight rebounds for the Musketeers, who had advanced to the final with an overtime win against Virginia Tech on Friday.

"I'm really proud of our team," Xavier coach Sean Miller said. "We really showed a lot of toughness and resiliency in all three games in the tournament. C.J. (Anderson, who collected 10 points and seven rebounds) has great toughness. He's an incredible leader. Our team follows his lead, especially in toughness.

"Terrell (Holloway) played like a veteran point guard."

With Xavier (5-0) clinging to a one-point lead, Dante Jackson streaked to the hoop and was fouled as the Tigers committed goaltending. Jackson hit the free throw, allowing Xavier to push its lead to 57-53.

Memphis (4-1) got as close as 59-58 on freshman Tyreke Evans' layup, but Holloway and Jackson hit their free throws in the final minute for the Musketeers to seal the win.

The contest was mark by defense throughout, with the Tigers shooting just 34 percent (18-of-53) from the floor and 15-of-30 from the free-throw line. Xavier was not much better, connecting on 38 percent (18-of-48) from the floor and 71 percent (24-of-34) from the line.

"We had some guys that played tentative and not to lose tonight," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "I want guys to make plays and play to win. I wanted this game to be close. I said that before the game and at the half. I wanted it close to see this (how the team would respond). Now, I've seen it and can work on those areas that need work. This is what this team needed."

Memphis entered the contest having won its previous four games by an average of 18.8 points.

The Tigers scored the first point of the game but did not gain the lead again until Doneal Mack hit a 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining, 52-51. Holloway hit two free throws 23 seconds later, and Memphis never could climb back on top.

Evans scored 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting and Robert Dozier added 10 points and 11 boards to lead the Tigers.

"We're disappointed with the outcome, but November games are about learning about your team," Calipari said. "We did tonight. This year's team is so different from last year's team and the year before.

"What disappointed me were our seniors down the stretch. Hopefully we get better as the season goes on. We had chances to win the game, but didn't make the plays we needed to make to win."

McLean scored all 11 of his points in the first half to pace Xavier to a 32-29 lead at the break.