Miami (OH) 53

(2-3, 1-3 away)

(16) Xavier 60

(6-0, 4-0 home)

    4:30 PM ET, November 29, 2008

    Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

    1 2 T
    M-OH 27 2653
    #16XAV 24 3660

    Top Performers

    Miami (OH): K. Hayes 19 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Xavier: D. Brown 23 Pts, 6 Reb

    No. 20 Musketeers stay perfect with two point guards injured

    Associated Press

    CINCINNATI -- At far less than full strength, Derrick Brown and Xavier (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) had enough left to stay perfect.

    Fast Facts

    • Derrick Brown is the first Xavier player to score more than 18 points in a game this season.

    • Miami (OH) has not won a game against a ranked team since Dec. 20, 2001 when it beat Boston College.

    • Xavier has won 26 consecutive home games against unranked teams.

    -- ESPN research

    Brown scored a career-high 23 points Saturday, running the court on a sprained left ankle that isn't even close to healed, and the Musketeers overcame cold shooting and the loss of another point guard in a 60-53 victory over Miami (Ohio).

    "Knowing the leadership and the toughness and the heart we've shown in the games before this, we stuck with it and went through the grind," said B.J. Raymond, who made only one 3-pointer all game.

    The Musketeers improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1996-97, when they won their first 10 games. Like most of their games against Miami, this one quickly acquired a slog-it-out pace. Xavier pulled it out even though its two points guards were hurt.

    Freshman Terrell Holloway sustained a stress fracture in his left foot during the Musketeers' three wins at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off last week, culminating in their 63-58 victory over Memphis. On Saturday, Dante Jackson developed leg cramps and played only nine minutes in the second half.

    At that point, Raymond -- who coach Sean Miller called his 10th option at point guard before the season -- had to bring the ball upcourt.

    "When B.J. Raymond has to play point guard in a really clutch game, you're at the bottom of the barrel," Miller said. "He's never played point guard for a second in his career, and he did for 10 of the toughest minutes out there today.

    "It's all about surviving more than anything."

    Kenny Hayes scored 19 points for Miami (2-3), which has played nationally ranked teams in three of its first five games. The RedHawks also lost to UCLA 64-59 and Pittsburgh 82-53.

    Miami's extended man-to-man defense gummed up Xavier's offense from the outset. The Musketeers missed six of their first seven shots, allowing the RedHawks to pull ahead 10-2. Miami led by as many as 11 in the first half, with Xavier off the mark from everywhere on the court. The Musketeers even missed six of their first seven free throws.

    The only player who shot consistently for Xavier was Brown, a junior forward who sprained his right ankle a week before the season opener and hasn't fully recovered. Known for his emphatic dunks, Brown has been reduced to layups for most of the first six games.

    He had one dunk on Saturday, looking for a moment like he was back in form.

    "It felt good to actually dunk a ball," Brown said. "It's been a while. I'm still fighting back from it. I take it one game at a time. It's not 100 percent, but good enough."

    Brown made a 3-pointer and four consecutive free throws, snapping Xavier out of its funk. Brown's free throw with 1:12 left in the half completed a 13-2 run and tied it at 24, but Michael Bramos' 35-footer at the buzzer put Miami up 27-24 at intermission.

    Last season in Oxford, Bramos made three free throws with 6 seconds left, then blocked a shot that preserved Miami's 59-57 win. On Saturday, he scored 15 points and fouled out with 2:10 to go.

    Raymond missed his first seven shots from behind the arc before connecting on his last attempt with 7:27 to go, putting the Musketeers ahead to stay at 41-38.

    "I credit the team for sticking with me through my off-ness," Raymond said. "D-Brown just kept us in it to that point."

    Raymond's free throw gave Xavier a 48-42 lead with 4:58 left. Back-to-back baskets by Bramos got the lead down to one, but Brown made a pair of free throws in a six-point run that blunted the comeback. Then, Brown made two more that pushed it to 59-49 with 37 seconds to go.

    "Derrick's very talented," Miami coach Charlie Coles said. "I thought we could have done a better job, but you always think you could have done a better job on a great player. Maybe he's that good."

    Xavier went only 22-of-38 from the free-throw line. The Musketeers repeatedly got the ball inside and drew fouls, but kept it close by missing the free throws.

    "They were going to the basket, and I thought we backed off a little," Coles said. "I've always found that the team that's the most aggressive, that's the team that's going to the free-throw line. We settled for some jump shots, like we were afraid to lay it up."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 53 60
    FG Made-Attempted 19-58 (.328) 18-48 (.375)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-17 (.294) 2-12 (.167)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-16 (.625) 22-38 (.579)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 12 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 11 10

    2008-09 Season

    » Nov 29, 2008 @XAV 60, M-OH 53Recap