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Anderson helps Xavier defeat St. Bonaventure

Jan 22, 2009 - 6:13 AM OLEAN, New York (Ticker) -- Xavier continues to roll through the Atlantic 10 Conference.

C.J. Anderson scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out four assists as the 13th-ranked Musketeers cruised to their seventh consecutive win, an 84-64 victory over St. Bonaventure on Wednesday.

Reserve Brad Redford had 14 points, Jason Love finished with 11 and Derrick Brown collected nine and eight boards for Xavier (16-2, 5-0 A-10), which had not started league play 5-0 since opening the 2001-02 conference campaign with nine straight wins.

Freshman Andrew Nicholson poured in 13 points and Maurice Thomas added 11 with 10 rebounds for the Bonnies (11-7, 2-3), who have not defeated the Musketeers since February 9, 2002 - losing eight straight to their conference rival over that stretch.

"We played a really good team today, someone that deserves to be the thirteenth best team in the country," St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. "They hurt us inside and they physically beat up our guys."

Xavier got off to sluggish start and faced an early 11-9 deficit, but Anderson made a layup and Redford knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to take a 17-13 edge with 10:36 left in the first half.

The Musketeers dominated the rest of the half, taking a 41-22 advantage into the break. Anderson completed three-point play with 4:09 remaining to spark an 18-2 run to close out the half.

"I thought we hung in for thirteen minutes when we were at 23-20, fighting them, and then we went on a dry spell," Schmidt said. "We missed six layups in the first half and you can't do that against a team of Xavier's caliber."

Xavier continued to clamp down defensively, holding St. Bonaventure to 42 percent (21-of-50) shooting from the field.

"They really make you work for everything," Schmidt said. "When they're out in the passing lanes sometimes you want to go inside and when you go inside it's like hitting a mountain."

"They do a good job of pressuring the ball on the perimeter and once you get past them inside, their size alters shot if they don't block them," Bonnies guard Malcolm Eleby added. "It was hard for us to get clean looks and I think that's what caused us to miss those key layups in the first half."

The Musketeers received plenty of offensive help from their reserves, outscoring the Bonnies by a 39-15 margin in bench points.

St. Bonaventure has now lost four straight home contests.

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    Xavier(13) 84, St. Bonaventure 64  FinalJan 21 9:07 PM

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