CINCINNATI (TICKER) —David West, who became just the third player in Xavier history to score 2,000 points, capped a milestone afternoon in dramatic fashion.
West’s tip-in at the buzzer gave the 13th-ranked Musketeers a dramatic 71-70 Atlantic Conference victory over George Washington.
Xavier has been living a charmed life. In its last game, Anthony Myles converted a tip-in at the regulation buzzer before the Musketeers held on for an 80-78 overtime victory over Duquesne.
West’s tip-in was initially waved off by the officials, who counted the basket after studying the television monitor for several minutes. The replay appeared to show that West got his hand on the ball with a tenth of a second remaining.
West’s basket capped a wild sequence in the final seconds. After Chris Monroe hit a pullup jumper from the right wing to give the Colonials a 69-68 lead, Xavier called timeout with seconds left.
The Musketeers tried to go inside to West, who scored 23 points to move into second place on the all school’s all-time scoring list with 2,017 points.
West fumbled the pass, but George Washington could not gain control of the loose ball. With time running out, it would up in the hands of Xavier’s Lionel Chalmers, whose off-balanced jumper from the foul line missed the rim.
But West batted the ball home off the glass to give the Musketeers (22-4, 13-1 A-10 West) their 13th straight victory.
“(Lionel) got the shot off, and then I just smacked it off the backboard and it went it,” West said. “Just from the sound I knew it was in the air when the buzzer went off.”
Romain Sato added 20 points and Chalmers 15 for Xavier, which remained one-half game ahead of Dayton in the A-10 West.
Monroe and T.J. Thompson had 16 points apiece for George Washington (10-16, 4-11), which rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes.
West surpassed Tyrone Hill, who scored 2,003 points at Xavier from 1986-90, and joined former Kansas star Raef LaFrentz as the only Division I players with at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in the last five years.
“Two thousand points, that’s a tremedous feat,” Xavier coach Thad Motta. “The most astonishing thing in my mind about the 2,000 points is that he is the most unselfish player I’ve ever seen.”
Despite West’s 50th straight double-figure game, the Musketeers could not put away the Colonials, committing 13 of their 17 turnovers in the second half.
Thompson’s 3-point capped a 9-0 spurt that pulled George Washington with 60-59 with 6:25 left. Xavier answered with Keith Jackson’s jumper and West’s three-point play to make it 65-59 with 5:20 left.
The Colonials took the lead, 68-67, on Pops Mensah-Bonsu’s driving layup with 1:17 left. George Washington had a chance to increase its lead but Thompson missed a jumper.
Jackson was left wide open in the right corner and drilled a jumper to give Xavier a 69-68 lead with 37 seconds remaining.
Xavier shot 58 percent in the second half to finish at 42 percent (28-of-57). George Washington shot 37.5 percent (25-of-59).