WASHINGTON, D.C. - Junior forward C.J. Anderson led four Musketeers in double-figures and B.J. Raymond hit a huge shot with just over five-minutes remaining to lead third-seeded Xavier past No. 6 Purdue, 85-78, in second round action of the 2008 NCAA Tourney in Washington, D.C. With the win, Xavier improves to 29-6 and establishes a new school record for wins in a season. The Boilmakers conclude their season at 25-9.
XU will square-off against No. 7 West Virginia on Thursday, March 27 in Phoenix for a berth in the Elite Eight. Game time is TBA.
Purdue expunged a 10-point Xavier lead on the strength of an 11-0 run in just a 2:30 span and took a 61-60 lead with 5:40 left in regulation after E'Twaun Moore made a driving lay-up. The Purdue spurt featured five points from Robbie Hummel and included three Musketeer turnovers.
On the ensuing and critical possession, junior guard B.J. Raymond got the ball in traffic, was fouled and buried a turnaround jumper. Raymond connected on the free throw and XU would never trail again.
Raymond's three-point play sparked a decisive 7-0 Xavier run over a 1:50 span and Purdue was unable to mount any other kind of threat as XU earned its third berth in the Sweet 16.
Anderson scored 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He also snared seven rebounds and was a solid 6-for-8 from the free throw line. The senior tandem of Josh Duncan and Drew Lavender each scored 16 points on the night. Lavender was rock-solid at the point, dishing-out nine assists while turning the ball over only twice. He was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Duncan was 5-of-11 from the floor and also snatched five rebounds. The Musketeers improve to a remarkable 21-0 this season when four or more players score in double-figures. Classmate Stanley Burrell scored 11 points and is now tied with Stan Kimbrough for 12th place on Xavier's all-time scoring list at 1,596 points.
XU maintained its seven-point advantage after Brown slammed one home off an out of bounds play at the 14:40 mark. That dunk sparked a 12-7 Xavier spurt as the Musketeers extended their lead to ten points, 60-50, at the 8:30 mark after Burrell converted on a scoop shot in the paint. That ten-point edge seemed comfortable enough but Purdue had other plans.
Xavier was out-rebounded by a 38-to-35 count but the team did hold a 30-to-25 edge on the defensive glass. The Musketeers offense was well oiled on Saturday as the team converted on 52.9 percent (27-for-51) against Purdue's rugged defense. The Musketeer defense was equally as effective as the Musketeers held the Boilmakers to 38.8 percent (26-for-67) from the floor.
Xavier controlled the block and held a 42-to-28 advantage in points in the paint.
The Musketeers stumbled out of the gate, allowing Purdue to seize a 9-0 lead just three-minutes in after Nemanja Calasan nailed a turnaround jumper. XU would regroup and found itself down 16-8 at the 13-minute mark after Keaton Grant converted on one of two free throws.
On the ensuing possession Lavender found Burrell for a back door lay-up on the baseline and that sparked a game-changing 15-2 run over the next 5:10. The Musketeers clamped down defensively during the stretch, forcing three PU turnovers while holding the Boilmakers to just 1-of-8 shooting during.
The run was capped by a fast break dunk from Brown, which electrified the capacity crowd and gave Xavier a 23-18 lead, its largest of the half, at the 7:50 mark.
Purdue would creep back though and took the lead on the strength of a 5-0 spurt over a 40-second stretch, which all came off the hot hand of Marcus Green.
Lavender would add an exclamation point to the end of the first stanza though when he buried a step back 3-pointer from the top of the key as the first session expired.
Purdue erased its three-point halftime deficit when Keaton Grant connected on a 3-pointer on the second half's first possession. Anderson would pick up right where he left off though and scored the game's next six points, on consecutive old-fashioned 3-point plays, to give XU a 41-35 edge at the 18-minute mark.