Miami Upsets Xavier, 75-64
Dec. 1, 2010
OXFORD, Ohio -A career-high 24 points by Julian Mavunga and a stout defensive effort helped Miami hand Xavier a 75-64 defeat Wednesday night at Millett Hall. The victory improved the RedHawks' record to 3-4, while the Musketeers lost for only the second time in seven games.
Mavunga tallied 11 points in the first half and 13 more in the second half on eight-of-16 shooting from the floor and a perfect six-of-six from the free throw line. Additionally, the junior from Indianapolis had eight rebounds, two blocks and two assists, and committed only one personal foul.
Mavunga was one of four RedHawks who scored in double figures. Senior forward Nick Winbush scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while senior Antonio Ballard and sophomore Orlando Williams scored 11 points each.
Nearly perfect free throw shooting by the RedHawks greatly influenced their victory. From the charity stripe, Miami hit 17-of-18, easily its best showing of 2010-11. The 75 points and 12 assists by the Red & White were both season highs.
Afterwards, Head Coach Charlie Coles praised Mavunga and Winbush more for their defense than for their offense.
"Julian and Nick both played hard throughout the game," said Coles. "Even though our inside guys were out-sized, I thought our defense was good most of the time. Xavier is a great club and it took one of our best efforts to win the game."
Mavunga scored the game's opening points on three-pointer at the 18:40 mark as the RedHawks grabbed a lead they would not relinquish. Xavier missed its first seven shots, initially lighting the scoreboard at 15:59 on a tip-in by Jamel McLean. Consecutive baskets by Williams, a driving left-side dunk by Mavunga and an Allen Roberts' jumper extended Miami's lead to 11-3.
Xavier scored the next three buckets to close the RedHawks' lead to 11-9. Miami then got hot again, scoring 11 straight points and boosting its advantage to 22-9. Mavunga and Williams each scored two field goals in the flurry.
Xavier's Tu Holloway kept the Musketeers competitive in the final minutes scoring a basket and three free throws, but Xavier left the court at halftime at a nine-point disadvantage, 28-19.
The Muskies hit just seven-of-23 shots in the first half (.304), while the RedHawks were 11-of-26 (.423).
Xavier scored 13 of the first 17 points in the second half to cut the RedHawks' lead to 34-32. Muskies big man Kenny Frease scored six points during X's comeback.
Winbush's three baskets for eight points over the next 2:11 put Miami on top by a count of 44-36 with 12:29 remaining. A scoring spurt by Ballard--including a three-pointer, a dunk and two free throws--restored Miami's lead to 12 points, 56-44.
Miami increased the margin to 14 points on a jumper and free throw by Winbush.
Still, Xavier hung tough, whittling Miami's lead to 64-62 with 2:41 left. A desperation three-pointer by junior Chris McHenry just before the time clock expired at the 1:45 mark ultimately broke Xavier's momentum. The clutch long-range bomb from the left side turned Miami's four-point lead into a seven-point advantage.
The RedHawks sank six straight free throws down the stretch--two each by Winbush, Mavunga and McHenry--to salt away the victory, a game that Miami led from start to finish.
Holloway and Mark Lyons shared scoring honors for Xavier with 18 points apiece.