Instant reaction: Xavier over St. Joe's
Quick-hit thoughts on Xavier's 68-55 win over St. Joseph's...
**Xavier trailed at halftime, 39-37. After dominating the first 10 minutes, the Musketeers went on an extended mental vacation, Mark Lyons went to the bench with foul trouble and St. Joe's started hitting shots. Xavier put it away with a 14-0 run early in the second half and cruised from there.
**On three straight possessions during that decisive run, Tu Holloway had assists that went to Dez Wells. Those are the guys that make Xavier unique and dangerous, and if Holloway plays like he did for most of Wednesday night, the Musketeers will be a very tough out in March.
**Lyons had 17 points. Holloway had 12 assists, matching a season high. Kenny Frease had 13 points and 7 rebounds, and Wells had 12 and 6.
**Wells is crazy-talented. In the first half he turned into a transition chance into a move to the basket that included a behind-the-back move. He made the shot and got fouled. The first bucket of his streak came as he smartly trailed Holloway, who chased down a pass that was a little ahead of him, and turned a touch pass into a layup. In the first half he came up a little short trying to dunk a missed shot. It was a play right out of Space Jam. It would have ripped the roof off of the Cintas Center.
**Wells got knocked silly in the second half while on defense when he ran into either the elbow or forearm of teammate Andre Walker. He was down on the floor for a good 30 seconds.
**St. Joe's played without the Atlantic 10's leading scorer, Cleveland native Carl "Tay" Jones, who was sidelined with an ankle injury. That left freshman Chris Wilson to take on Holloway and Lyons, and that's really not fair. Most of St. Joe's shooting came from Langston Galloway, who finished with 14 points but had just 2 points in the second half.
**St Joe's shot 47 percent from the field in the first half and 25 percent (6-of-24) in the second. That would go a long way towards explaining what happened.
**Holloway is such an excellent passer. He plays with great tempo, too, rarely going too fast for his own team's good. He just controlled the game in the first 10 minutes and for much of the second half.
**Xavier made its first four 3-pointers, and Lyons had three. The Musketeers then missed their next 13, finishing 4-17.