Temple 74

(12-9, 4-3 A 10)

(9) Xavier 83

(20-2, 8-0 A 10)

    7:00 PM ET, February 5, 2009

    Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

    1 2 T
    TEM 34 4074
    #9XAV 38 4583

    Top Performers

    Temple: L. Allen 14 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Xavier: B. Raymond 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Xavier punishes Temple's defense with 11 3-pointers in victory

    Associated Press

    CINCINNATI -- No one at Xavier has done this since David West was knocking them down.

    B.J. Raymond scored 24 points and led a 3-point barrage that swept Xavier to its 11th straight win Thursday night, an 83-74 victory over Temple that kept the ninth-ranked Musketeers perfect atop the Atlantic 10.

    Fast Facts

    • Xavier is now 8-0 in the Atlantic 10. This is its best start in the conference since going 9-0 to begin the 2001-02 season.

    • Xavier has won 43 consecutive games when shooting over 50 percent from the field. Its last loss was vs. Temple on Jan. 25, 2006.

    • Temple has lost 12 straight road games against ranked teams.

    • The Musketeers are 28-1 when senior B.J. Raymond scores more than 12 points.

    -- ESPN research

    Facing a defense that clamped down inside, Xavier (20-2, 8-0) made most of its big shots from far away, following Raymond's lead. The senior forward went 5-of-7 from behind the arc, and freshman Brad Redford made four 3s as Xavier knocked down 11 in all.

    It was Raymond's fourth straight 20-point game, the best such scoring streak since West was a sophomore eight years ago.

    "That's my specialty -- I'm a shooter," Raymond said.

    It's been more than that. Raymond has taken it upon himself to take shots at big points of the game, even when he's tightly guarded.

    "B.J. Raymond is arguably playing right now as well as any player in the country at his position," Xavier coach Sean Miller said.

    Temple (12-9, 4-3) was looking for a bookend Top 10 upset -- the Owls knocked off Tennessee in December -- but couldn't come close as Xavier made sure the conference's top scorer got few open shots. Dionte Christmas had only 12 points on 6-of-16 shooting.

    Christmas leads the conference in scoring for the third straight season, averaging 20.5 points per game. Raymond stuck with him in Xavier's man-to-man defense, making sure he didn't get an open shot. Christmas missed his first four attempts -- one an air ball -- against the tight coverage.

    "That was probably one of the best defensive performances I've had," Raymond said. "It helped also that he got in foul trouble."

    Christmas seemed to get frustrated as the game went along. He picked up his third foul for bumping hard into a player he was guarding at midcourt -- a poor decision. In his last two games, Christmas is 0-for-9 from behind the arc.

    "They didn't do anything special," Christmas said. "They just played hard-nosed defense. They had B.J. Raymond on me. He has a large wingspan and is a great defender."

    Someone else would have to come up with a big game to keep Temple in it. Surprisingly, Sergio Olmos was the one to do it.

    The 7-foot center didn't even attempt a shot in Temple's 74-65 win over Richmond on Saturday. He made hook shots and jumpers while scoring 10 points in the first half, which ended with Xavier ahead 38-34. Olmos and Lavoy Allen scored 18 of Temple's first 20 points while Xavier chased Christmas around the court.

    Xavier is one of the nation's best at getting the ball inside and drawing fouls, so Temple took away the pass inside, leaving the perimeter open at times. The Musketeers took advantage by going 7-for-11 from behind the arc in the first half, with Raymond hitting four 3s.

    In a one-minute span, Raymond and Redford combined on three 3s.

    "They created some havoc for us in the first half," Owls coach Fran Dunphy said. "The versatility -- that's what makes them so strong. We didn't defend them very well. Their balance is terrific."

    Raymond hit another 3 during a 10-point run that put the Musketeers in control 52-39 with 13 minutes left. Reserve forward Jamel McLean had five rebounds, a putback and a free throw during the spurt.

    Olmos and Lavoy couldn't keep up their first-half pace, and things got grim for the Owls when Christmas picked up his fourth foul with 11:48 to go. Consecutive 3s by Redford pushed the lead to 17 points midway through the half. Temple never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

    Xavier point guard Terrell Holloway sprained his left foot during an 82-80 win over Massachusetts on Saturday, leaving his availability in doubt. He started and moved well, but was ineffective -- finishing with five turnovers and was 0-for-4 from the field.

    "Terrell has to play better," Miller said. "The [foot] is fine. We're playing in spite of him. He's got to make better decisions. He can't throw the ball to the other team."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 74 83
    FG Made-Attempted 31-70 (.443) 30-58 (.517)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-15 (.400) 11-18 (.611)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-11 (.545) 12-18 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 17

    2008-09 Season

    » Feb 5, 2009 @XAV 83, TEM 74Recap
    Mar 13, 2009 TEM 55, @XAV 53Recap