Miami (Ohio)-Xavier Preview
Guards Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons are big reasons why Xavier is
off to a strong start.
A season-opening four-game homestand could have a greater
Holloway and Lyons will try to help the No. 13 Musketeers to a
41st victory in 42 games at the Cintas Center when they face
in-state rival Miami of Ohio on Friday night.
Xavier followed its opening 74-63 victory over Morgan State last
Friday by easing past IPFW 86-63 four days later. Holloway’s return
from a one-game NCAA suspension spurred the win Tuesday, as he
scored 24 points with six assists and five rebounds.
Lyons is averaging 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists
after making all seven shots – four 3-pointers – to score 19 of his
21 in the second half Tuesday.
That production is a marked increase for Lyons, who averaged
13.6 points and 3.1 assists as a sophomore last season to finish
second on the team to Holloway’s 19.7 and 5.4 averages.
Xavier (2-0) is shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 48.6
from beyond the arc.
“It’s easy for us (Lyons and himself) to share the ball and get
assists,” Holloway said. “With Mark and I driving to the rim and
creating double-teams it’s going to open up some shots. We have
some great shooters.”
While Holloway and Lyons look to maintain their impressive
production, the Musketeers will try to continue their dominant run
They’re 151-18 at the Cintas Center since it opened for the
2000-01 season, winning 40 of the past 41 and 10 in a row by an
average of 15.9 points.
Xavier has won 10 of the last 11 home matchups with Miami,
dating to the Cincinnati Gardens.
Holloway and Lyons had 18 points each, but the Musketeers lost
75-64 to the RedHawks on the road Dec. 1.
Despite that victory, Miami coach Jermaine Henderson is trying
to avoid being in awe of the Musketeers.
“When you see Xavier and their other scores, or you look in the
paper or get on the internet and see the Top 25, you know they’ve
got a tremendous team,” Henderson told the RedHawks’ official
“They deserve their ranking, and we certainly have to be
respectful of that. But we also have to find a way to limit ‘woah,
they’re ranked’ and hold ourselves to ‘this is another opponent’ as
much as we can.”
The RedHawks have lost 18 in a row to ranked foes since beating
then-No. 10 Boston College 73-67 on Dec. 20, 2001.
Miami got its season off to a positive start against another
in-state rival, beating Dayton 72-67 in overtime at home Tuesday.
Senior forward Julian Mavunga had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
He led the RedHawks with 14.8 points and 8.2 boards per game
last season and contributed 24 and eight, respectively, in the
victory over Xavier.