IPFW loses at No. 13 Xavier 86-63
IPFW head coach Tony Jasick didn't want No. 13 Xavier to get off to a fast start at home where it has won 10 straight games.
That's exactly what happened in an 86-63 loss on Tuesday night.
''You can't come into this building and allow them to hit shots early and feel good about themselves,'' Jasick said. ''Our press bothered them a little at the end. Maybe we should use it a little bit more.''
Frank Gaines scored 22 points to lead IPFW and Michael Kibiloski added 12. Isaiah McCray grabbed 10 rebounds, and Jonny Marlin had five assists.
Point guard Tu Holloway, who returned from a one-game suspension, was the star for Xavier with 16 of his 24 points in the second half. The Musketeers (2-0) also got 21 points from Mark Lyons and 16 from freshman Dezmine Wells. Nine players scored for Xavier.
''I went through spurts tonight when I didn't have to shoot,'' Holloway said. ''Last year I felt like I needed to be aggressive. It's nice to sit back and be a point guard and let the game come to me.''
Holloway was suspended for the season opener against Morgan State for playing in too many summer league games, a violation of NCAA rules.
''It was nice to have an All-American back in the lineup,'' said Xavier head coach Chris Mack. ''I thought he had a calming presence in the game. He makes things easier for everybody.''
Xavier also got a big second half from Lyons, who had just two points at halftime but went 7 for 7, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range, after the break.
Wells scored a team-leading 12 points in the first half.
''With Mark (Lyons) and I driving to the rim and creating double-teams it's going to open up some shots,'' Holloway said. ''We have some great shooters.''(backslash)
Xavier now leads the all-time series 4-0, including last year's 76-66 overtime victory. Tuesday's game wasn't as close.
Holloway hit a 3-pointer in the midst of a 9-0 first-half run which gave the Musketeers a 14-6 lead. His second 3-pointer made the score 31-18.
''We allowed Wells and Holloway to hit shots early,'' said IPFW head coach Tony Jasick.
Holloway had eight points in the first half. He finished with six assists.
''It was tough sitting on the bench, but it was just a one-game suspension,'' Holloway said. ''Felt good to be back.''
Before Holloway caught fire, it was Lyons who took charge early in the second half with 9 of Xavier's first 11 points.
Wells' two-handed dunk off a lob from Lyons put Xavier up 44-24. Wells led Xavier with seven rebounds. He also went 2 of 4 from 3-point range. Lyons had five assists.
''We have a lot of guys who can score,'' Lyons said. ''I came out in the second half and was a little more aggressive. My teammates found me in good positions.''
Wells' dunk energized the crowd but the Musketeers had 16 turnovers and got a little too fancy at times for Mack, who glared at Lyons after another lob attempt to Wells sailed out of bounds.
''Sometimes we play the score,'' Mack said. ''That's what practice is for. I'm not going to lose my mind over it.''
Lyons redeemed himself by hitting consecutive 3-pointers to make the score 66-45 with less than 10 minutes remaining. Xavier was 11 of 21 from 3-point range. The Musketeers are shooting 48.6 percent this season from beyond the arc.
IPFW forced 16 turnovers on Tuesday. With Xavier sloppy late in the game, IPFW went on a run to cut the deficit to 67-52 with 7:05 left. But a 3-pointer by Lyons put the Musketeers in front 72-55 and they never looked back.