X Sees Double and Downs Duquesne X Sees Double and Downs Duquesne
By Jay Skeldon

Derrick Brown shouts with approval as he stuffs two of his 13 points through the net.
[enlarge] Photo by Bob Stevens
C.J. Anderson splits the defense for 2 of his 13 points.
[enlarge] Photo by Bob Stevens
Stanley Burrell flips one of his career high 12 assists to Derrick Brown for a slam.
[enlarge] Photo by Bob Stevens
Freshmen Dante’ Jackson is earning more playing time with tenacious defense and hustle plays.
[enlarge] Photo by Bob Stevens

The first six minutes of Wednesday evening’s contest between No. 12 Xavier and Duquesne at Cintas Center went as many expected.  The Dukes, a team stocked with athletic and aggressive players, applied full-court pressure and came out swinging, establishing an early five point lead.  However, the Musketeers soon made it known that the game would be played on their terms and quickly gave Duquesne a taste of Xavier pressure.  The Muskies ratcheted up their defense effort, leading to a 75-48 blowout of Duquesne and marking DU’s worst defeat and lowest output of the season.  XU (23-4, 11-1 A-10), which has now won nine straight games, received another balanced, team effort with four players scoring in double figures.  The Dukes, meanwhile, drop to 16-9 (6-6 A-10).

After the initial five point deficit, B.J. Raymond and Xavier surged on a 12-0 run to go ahead 23-15 with 9:50 left in the first half.  Raymond accounted for eight points in the run including two 3-pointers and a jumper in the lane.  But, DU would claw back to within 3 points, 27-24, over the next two minutes only to have the Muskies put on the death grip.  Xavier fired off an 18-2 run, which was capped by another Raymond triple as time expired in the first half.  X led comfortably by 19 at half, 45-26.

The second half was much of the same as Duquesne inched no closer than 18 points after intermission.

Xavier was led in scoring by a trio of Musketeers as Derrick Brown, C.J. Anderson, and Raymond scored 13 points apiece. Brown and Anderson pulled down 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively, to notch double-doubles.  That feat marks the first time in the 2007-08 season that two XU players recorded double-doubles in the same game. 

Much of this scoring was facilitated by senior guard Stanley Burrell.  Burrell handled the point guard reigns exceptionally in place of a recovering Drew Lavender (ankle and thumb injuries).  The senior defensive specialist showed off his passing skills for a career-high 12 assists.

Brown and Anderson were instrumental in the paint on both ends of the court.  Each provided a much needed aggressive return punch by taking the ball to the basket strong against a fearless Duquesne front line. 

The Musketeers outscored Duquesne 42-26 in the paint thanks in large part to Brown, Anderson, as well as Xavier center Jason Love, who also turned in a solid performance, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, and three blocks.  The three players accounted for 38 of those 42 points in the paint – a key difference in the game.

Duquesne features two 6-10 twin towers, Kieron Achara and Shawn James, who were named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Defensive Team.  A junior transfer from Northeastern, James also entered the game ranked fifth in the nation in blocks per game (4.0) and may threaten to break the all-time record for swats before his collegiate career is finished. 

In spite of this imposing presence, Brown, Anderson, and Love did not back down.  They manned the boards with reckless abandon, as Xavier as a team out-rebounded Duquesne, 45-39. 

Other key contributors for the Musketeers included Josh Duncan (8 points, 4 rebounds) and guards Dante Jackson and Drew Lavender (4 points each). 

Duquesne was led by guard Reggie Jackson and Shawn James, who scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.  James also added to his block total with a game-high seven rejections.

Next up for the Musketeers is a trip up I-75 for a rematch with Dayton on Sunday afternoon.  Xavier humiliated the reeling Flyers last month 69-43 at Cintas Center.  UD (17-8, 5-7 A-10), which lost to La Salle in overtime on Thursday evening, has now dropped seven of its last 10 games and are in desperate need of a win to keep its postseason hopes alive.  Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. at University of Dayton Arena.

In addition to playing tough defense and dishing out a dozen assists, Stanley Burrell also leads the cheers.
[enlarge] Photo by Bob Stevens
Jason Love sinks this shot on his way to collecting 12 points for the night.
[enlarge] Photo by Bob Stevens

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