College Basketball: Xavier 69, Charlotte 47
CINCINNATI ó Using its balance to full advantage, No. 10 Xavier made quick work of a team that had a tough time making it into town.
B.J. Raymond scored 23 points, Kenny Frease added 17 points and No. 10 Xavier beat Charlotte 69-47 on Wednesday night for its ninth straight win.
C.J. Anderson had 10 points for Xavier (18-2, 6-0 Atlantic 10), which limited the 49ers to just four field goals in the first half. The Musketeers also outrebounded Charlotte 48-28.
Xavier improved to 6-0 all-time against Charlotte. The Musketeers have not lost since Dec. 23 when No. 13 Butler beat them 75-64 at the Cintas Center.
It was a rough 24 hours all-around for Charlotte (6-13, 1-5), which had its initial flight into Cincinnati canceled due to Tuesday’s winter storm.
The 49ers flew to Dayton late Tuesday, then endured a two-hour bus ride Wednesday on icy roads before arriving at Cintas Center just before their scheduled shoot-around. Under normal conditions, the drive to Cincinnati would take about 45 minutes.
“The main thing is we got here safe,” said 49ers head coach Bobby Lutz. “The flight to Dayton was good. The bus driver did a great job. I don’t think it bothered our guys. Xavier was dominant tonight. They’re ranked where they should be.”
Whether it was due to the harrowing trip or Xavier’s defense, the 49ers came out cold to start the game. Charlotte missed its first six shots as the Musketeers raced to a 7-0 lead.
The 49ers attempted to rally behind senior Lamont Mack, who scored the 49ers’ first seven points. Mack, who matched his season high of 23 points in three of the past four games, had three of Charlotte’s four field goals in the first half. He couldn’t keep it going, finishing with 11 points.
Raymond and Dante Jackson hit consecutive 3-pointers to put Xavier ahead 18-7 with six minutes remaining in the first half. Five straight points from Frease, including a one-handed dunk off a pass from Terrell Holloway, gave the Musketeers a 26-11 lead that was never seriously threatened.
Xavier’s defense limited Charlotte to just 16.7 percent shooting (4-for-24) and forced eight turnovers in the first half.
“I thought we played pretty well defensively in the first half,” Lutz said. “We just couldn’t rebound or put the ball in the basket.”
Frease, playing his first game since being named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week, matched Raymond’s 10 points while leading the Musketeers to a 31-13 halftime lead. A 3-point play by Frease gave Xavier its largest lead, 34-14 early in the second half.
Raymond’s fourth 3-pointer put the Musketeers ahead 44-23 with 13:08 remaining.
“I just took my time on my 3s,” Raymond said.