Xavier 68, W. Michigan 65

Down by 11 points at the start of the second half, Terrell

”Tu” Holloway knew it was time to start making a difference.

Holloway scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half Friday

night, hitting all but one of his shots while rallying the depleted

Musketeers to a 68-65 victory over Western Michigan that showed

what one determined point guard can do when the pressure’s on.

”Sometimes the game gets a little hard and you lose

consciousness and want to go out and make plays,” said Holloway,

who was 6 of 7 from the field in the second half. ”That’s all it

was in the second half. We needed to make a lot of plays, and I

felt I was the guy to do it.”

Nobody does it better for Xavier (1-0), which trailed most of

the game with its depleted front line in foul trouble and its

freshmen trying to fit in. Holloway changed the momentum, scoring

10 points during a 15-2 run that got the Musketeers back in the


His 3-pointer from the right corner put them ahead to stay 64-61

with 1:14 to go.

”The bigger the moment, the bigger Tu plays,” coach Chris Mack

said. ”In the second half, he was really clutch.”

The Musketeers extended the nation’s third-longest home-court

winning streak to 25 games. Xavier has won its last 21 season

openers, though this one was a real struggle.

Flenard Whitfield scored 15 for Western Michigan (0-1), which

won 18 games last season and has only one senior. Whitfield’s

3-pointer from the top of the key fell off the rim at the


For the first time in six years, the Broncos started a true

freshman center. Six-foot-9, 290-pound Matt Stainbrook had his way

for a time against Xavier’s depleted and inexperienced front line,

finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds. The Broncos had no

answer for Holloway.

”That showed what a good player can do at that time of the

game,” Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins said. ”He took it

over. He was very aggressive.”

Xavier’s lack of depth showed. The Musketeers’ reserves failed

to score.

”It’s painfully obvious at this point that we need more bench

production,” Mack said. ”Whether it was the first-game jitters,

the speed of the game, whatever, that has to be put behind


Three-point leader Brad Redford tore up a knee during practice,

and Jamel McLean – the top returning rebounder and front-line

scorer – broke a bone below his left eye during an exhibition.

McLean warmed up before the game, wearing protective glasses, then

sat on the bench and watched Xavier’s front line get dominated.

Western Michigan led 32-23 at halftime, controlling the boards

23-12 and allowing Xavier only one offensive rebound. Mack screamed

so loud in the locker room at halftime that his voice carried down

the hall.

”We all felt a little pressure,” said Holloway, who missed

five of his six shots in the first half.

The Musketeers opened the second half with Holloway’s turnover,

and Stainbrook’s bank shot gave Western Michigan its biggest lead

at 34-23.

Seven-foot junior center Kenny Frease picked up his third foul

with 15:05 left, leaving it up to Holloway to lead the comeback. He

hit a driving bank shot and a fall-away jumper that cut it to 40-38

with 11:58 to go.

Frease got back in the game and quickly picked up a technical –

his fourth foul – while mixing it up with Stainbrook. Stainbrook

had a putback, and Whitfield’s jumper rebuilt the lead to


Holloway then took the game into his hands, hitting driving

lay-ins, free throws and a pair of 3-pointers that gave Xavier to a

57-51 lead with 4:14 to go.