NCAA Tournament: Xavier 79, West Virginia 75, OT
PHOENIX ó In a span of 48 critical seconds late in overtime, B.J. Raymond made more 3-pointers than the entire West Virginia team did all night.
He went from “non-factor” to nonplussed, calmly knocking down two long-range jumpers that lifted Xavier past coach Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers 79-75 Thursday night in the West Region semifinals.
Third-seeded Xavier (30-6) rallied from a six-point deficit in overtime, and will seek its first Final Four appearance when it plays the UCLA-Western Kentucky winner on Saturday.
Raymond, who scored all eight of his points from overtime, hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Musketeers ahead 75-74 with 1:18 to play. He then shook loose on an inbound play, took a crosscourt bounce pass from Stanley Burrell and made a 3 with the shot clock expiring for a 78-74 lead with 30 seconds left.
“I was kind of a non-factor for the first 40 minutes,” Raymond said. “I knew when I got back in there, I had to make something happen.”
The second 3 was the dagger.
“It wasn’t a great play that I drew up,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said. “It was a terrific pass by Stanley Burrell and an amazing shot off the bounce by B.J.”
Huggins said his defense clogged up the intended play but “somebody fell asleep” to allow the wide-open 3.
Josh Duncan scored a career-high 26 points despite foul trouble to lead Xavier.
Xavier, which led by 18 early in the game, rallied from a 71-65 deficit in overtime.
Joe Alexander scored 18 and had 10 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Mountaineers (26-11) before fouling out in the overtime.
West Virginia missed four of six free throws in the overtime. Alexander missed one with 14.2 seconds left in regulation that would have given his team a 65-64 lead.
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