What happened: Xavier 65 - Georgia 57
Tu Holloway closes games. At the half, the Muskies' point guard was shooting 0-5/0-2/0-0 and had 0-3-4 with 3 steals and no turnovers. In the second half, he scored 18 on 3-8/1-4/11-11, added 3 rebounds and another assist, and only turned the ball over once. He was particularly instrumental in 8-2 mini-run that gave X the 43-39 lead they would never relinquish. He started the run with a three-ball at the 13:34 mark, added a bucket and a free throw the next trip down, and wrapped it up two minutes after it began with an assist to Big Kenny that sent Georgia to the bench for a full timeout.
When Dante Jackson is going well, all he does is bury big threes. When other Xavier players were 0-5 from behind the arc at the half, Dante was 2-3. When Xavier was mired in a five-minute drought during which they had one basket and Georgia had cut the lead to one, Dante answered the bell with a huge three-pointer to open the game back up. The Bulldogs never got it to a one possession game again. Dante's struggles this year haven't gone unnoticed by just about anyone, but kudos to the senior for shrugging it off and coming up big when X needed him.
Jamel McLean and Big Kenny's lines once again stand in stark contrast to one another. Kenny got his 12 points in a relatively straightforward manner, going 6-12/0-0/0-2 shooting. He added four boards - all defensive - an assist, a steal, a block, and a turnover. McLean went for 10-9-1 on 2-9/0-0/6-9 shooting with one steal and three turnovers, and four of his rebounds were at the offensive end. If Kenny could add McLean's garbage-bucket instincts to his game, he'd be a monster.
Odds and ends:
-Dante is shooting .833 from behind the arc in his last two games; his teammates are posting a .318 3P% in that time.
-Over the last two games, Kenny Frease has 24 points, of which 20 have come in the first half. In that same span, Tu has scored 42 points, 38 of which have come after halftime.
-X only allowed Georgia six offensive rebounds, and none of those in the first half. The Muskies also turned the ball over only seven times.
-Tu Holloway is 6' tall and had six boards; Kenny Frease is 7' tall and had four.
-Xavier's reserves had 2-3-0 with a turnover and three fouls in 20 minutes. Not their best showing.
-As usual, stay tuned for Brad's full recap.
Next game: @Duquesne, 2pm Saturday