Balanced No. 12 Xavier beats Georgia 70-56
Tu Holloway overcame a sore shooting hand and scored 12 points
Friday night, leading a balanced offense that carried No. 12 Xavier
to a 70-56 victory over poor-shooting Georgia.
Holloway, who hurt his right hand during practice, missed his
only shot in the first half. He made all eight of his free throws
and had four assists, helping Xavier (4-0) extend its success
against the Southeastern Conference.
Georgia (3-2) missed its first 11 shots, fell behind 10-0 and
never recovered, trailing by 36 points midway through the second
half. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 14 for the Bulldogs, who shot
32 percent from the field and trailed by 36 points midway through
the second half.
Xavier has won eight of its last nine games against SEC teams
since 2008, beating Georgia three times during that span. The
Musketeers also have wins over Florida, Auburn and Louisiana
Their only SEC defeat was at home to Florida last season, the
Musketeers’ only loss in their last 43 games at the Cintas
Xavier won in Athens 65-57 last season, when Holloway failed to
score in the first half, then had 18 to help the Musketeers pull
away. The senior point guard had four points in the first half on
Friday, all on free throws.
Holloway is trying to get into a rhythm after a tough opening
stretch. He had to sit out the opener against Morgan State because
he played too many summer games, a violation of NCAA rules.
Holloway returned and had 24 points against IPFW, but was
physically subpar in a 66-60 win over Miami of Ohio a week ago.
Coach Chris Mack said Holloway had been light-headed in the days
leading up to the Miami game, in which he scored only nine points
on 3-of-12 shooting. Now, he’s also contending with the sore
The Bulldogs were coming off 61-57 win over Notre Dame on
Tuesday in the CBE Classic consolation game. They lost to No. 20
California a day earlier.
The Musketeers showed off their newcomers while taking control.
At one juncture during the 10-0 run, Mack had freshman point guard
Dee Davis, freshman forward Dez Wells, freshman forward Justin
Martin, junior Travis Taylor and junior guard Mark Lyons on the
floor. Taylor finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Xavier pushed the lead to 14-3 with Georgia going 1 for 16 from
the field with six turnovers in the first 10 minutes. Wells had the
most crowd-pleasing play during the run, taking the ball around his
back to avoid a steal while driving for a layup.
A technical foul on Lyons – he got tangled up with a Georgia
player – contributed to an eight-point run that cut the lead to
14-11. The comeback faded fast. Kenny Frease’s block set up a
fastbreak layup by Lyons that pushed it to 20-11. It was 28-19 at
the half, with seven Xavier players scoring, none more than six
points. The Bulldogs were 6 of 28 from the field with 11
Holloway got involved during a 12-point run that opened the
second half and pushed the lead to 40-19. He hit a pair of free
throws, a layup and a fadeaway jumper. Georgia missed five shots
and had two turnovers during the decisive spurt.