MILWAUKEE—Jordan Crawford scored 26 points leading the Xavier Musketeers to a 65-54 over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in first round tournament action at the Bradley Center.
"Anytime you can win an NCAA tournament game it's a big deal," said Xavier head coach Chris Mack. "I love the kids I'm coaching and we're ready to play on Sunday."
After hitting for 11 points in the first half, Crawford dominated the second, scoring 15 points and finished the game shooting 11-of-21 from the field. Crawford also added in six rebounds and five assists in the win.
Xavier was able to overcome a horrendous first half of shooting to tie the game at half. The Musketeers shot 9-of-42 from the field in the first half.
After intermission, it was Crawford that carried Xavier, but Jason Love's three-point play on XU's first possession set the tone early for the Musketeers.
"I thought in the second half our kids really adjusted," said Mack. "We found one another and made the extra pass. We began to score on the inside and out."
XU went on a 15-5 run to extend a 40-39 lead to 55-44 just over seven minutes remaining. During the run junior Dante Jackson hit two key three pointers.
Credit Xavier's defensive effort as they held Minnesota to their lowest field goal percentage of the season at 30.6 percent. The Musketeers also turned in a season's best performance turning the ball over only six times.
Lawrence Westbrook, who was hot early for the Golden Gophers scoring 15 first half points, was just 0-of-8 from the field in the second half. He finished with a team high 19 points.
Minnesota shot just 27 percent in the second half while Xavier scorched the nets, shooting 56 percent.
Crawford leads Xavier over Minnesota
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