Xavier Runs Over MU, 69-46

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Sophomore Justin Doellman poured in a career-high 22 points and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds to lead the Xavier University men's basketball team past Marshall by a score of 69-46 on Thursday evening at Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. With the victory, XU improves to 5-4 on the campaign while the Thundering Heard slips to 2-7...

Doellman's nine rebounds tied his career high. The Union, Ky. native was also 5-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc and 8-of-13 overall; all were new career highs.

"The guys did a great job in finding me in transition," said Doellman. "And it all starts with Dedrick [Finn] at the point. Coach [Sean] Miller and all the guys kept telling me to shoot and tonight they fell."

Doellman is the first Musketeer to score 20 or more points so far this season.

Freshman Stanley Burrell had another solid evening, scoring 13 points and dishing out a career-high five assists on the night. Sophomore Justin Cage was the third Musketeer in double-figures, scoring 10 points. Cage also snared five boards.

The Herd shrunk Xavier's 25-15 halftime lead to six points, 27-21, in the early stages of the second half. The Musketeers answered in style though, mounting a 13-4 run over the next three minutes that was capped off by a Josh Duncan 3-pointer at the 13:00 mark.

Marshall sprinted out to a 5-0 mini-run over the next 1:20 to get the deficit back down to 10 points, but Doellman keyed a decisive 15-7 Xavier run over the next 4:00 that gave Xavier its largest lead up to that point, 55-37, that Marshall would be unable to recover from.

Doellman scored eight points including a pair of 3-pointers during the decisive stretch.

Doellman capped off his record-setting evening with a 3-pointer at the top of the key as the shot clock wound down in the last minute of the contest.

Xavier was relentless on the glass, out-rebounding the Herd 32-to-20 on the night and held an incredible 20-to-2 advantage in the second chance points category. XU was a force underneath, as the Musketeers held a 28-to-14 edge in points in the paint.

"We've had a continuation of improvement on defense, starting in late November and continuing through December. Of course, we have had a problem finishing games," said head coach Sean Miller. "It's been well documented. Tonight I thought all nine guys really competed. We did it for 40 minutes. It's the first time I've ever coached a game that did not go down to the wire."

The Musketeers stormed out of the gate and seized an 8-2 lead at the first half's 16:00 mark when Doellman drained a 3-pointer at the top of the key. Marshall responded though and took a 13-12 lead with 11:50 remaining in the stanza.

However, the Herd could only manage one more bucket for the remainder of the half and the Musketeers took advantage, ending the half on a 13-2 run and led 25-15 at the break.

Marshall's 15 first half points was the fewest point total ever scored by a Xavier opponent in a half since Cintas Center opened its doors for the 2000-01 season.

Joe Miles (14 points) and LaVar Carter (10 points) were the only two Marshall players in double figures. Xavier outrebounded The Herd 32-20. Marshall shot just 39.0% (16-of-41) for the game, compared to Xavier's relatively-hot 53.1% (26-of-49).

Marshall returns home to Huntington and will host the Central Michigan Chippewas in Mid-American Conference play on Sunday afternoon at 2pm at the Henderson Center.

compiled from Xavier sports information release


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