Nov. 23, 2012
Xavier got a bounce-back win and VCU took No. 5 Duke to the wire in Friday's Atlantic 10 men's basketball action.
Xavier 69, Drexel 65
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Semaj Christon scored a season-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, helping Xavier bounce back from a tough loss with a 69-65 victory over Drexel on Friday in the DirecTV Classic consolation bracket.
Christon, a freshman, had 18 points in the Musketeers' first defeat of the season, 70-67 to Pacific on Thursday. He added six assists in this one to lead Xavier (4-1), which also got 13 points from Jeff Robinson and 12 from Justin Martin. Martin's free throw with 9 seconds left made it a two-possession game and effectively sealed the victory.
Damion Lee had 19 points and Frantz Massenat added 18 for the Dragons (1-4), who lost despite shooting 55 percent from the field. Xavier nearly matched that number, hitting 51 percent of its shots.
On Sunday, Xavier will face the winner of late Friday's Rice-Drake matchup, while Drexel will play the loser of that game.
No. 5 Duke 67, VCU 58
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) - Mason Plumlee, a 6-foot-10 center who helped break VCU's pressure, had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 5 Duke to a 67-58 victory over the Rams on Friday night In the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Plumlee, who had 20 points and 17 rebounds in the opening-round win over Minnesota, brought the ball across midcourt several times in each half to help the Blue Devils withstand the pressure defense VCU calls "havoc."
Both teams played good defense and made it tough to score. Both teams combined four field goals over the final 8 minutes and half of those came in the final 17 seconds.
The Blue Devils (5-0) will meet the winner of the game between No. 2 Louisville and No. 13 Missouri in the championship game on Saturday night.
Loyola (Md.) 58, Rhode Island 54
KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) - Robert Olson hit a go-ahead layup with 1:57 left in overtime and Loyola (MD) held off Rhode Island for a 58-54 nonconference victory Friday night.
Olson's layup put the Greyhounds (5-1) ahead 55-54. He hit a jumper 83 seconds later to stretch the lead to 57-54, helping Loyola hold on as the Rams (0-5) missed their last four shot attempts - all 3-point tries.
Rhode Island went up 53-50 at the start of overtime on Xavier Munford's 3-pointer. Jordan Latham hit a layup and then a free throw for Loyola to tie it 53-all, and then Jordan Hare put the Rams up 54-53 with a free throw with 2:30 left, setting up Olson's go-ahead basket.
In regulation, Olson hit a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left to tie the game 50-all. It was the first time Loyola hadn't trailed since late in the first half.
Olson finished with 20 points.