Xavier 76, La Salle 65
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Drew Lavender scored 20 points as Xavier claimed a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season championship and the top seed in the conference tournament with a 76-65 victory at La Salle on Saturday.
Stanley Burrell scored 16 points, B.J. Raymond added 14 and Justin Cage had 11 for the Musketeers (23-7, Atlantic 10 13-3), who won their eighth straight game.
Xavier and UMass, a 71-67 winner over Saint Joseph’s, finished with identical 13-3 conference record. But Xavier earned the top-seeded spot by winning the only contest between the teams this season.
Darnell Harris had 17 points for La Salle (10-20, 3-13), which did not qualify for the conference tournament, while Ruben Guillandeaux added 14.
Xavier trailed by as many as nine points in the first half and 38-32 at halftime.
After the Musketeers pulled ahead 66-58 on a tip-in by Cage with 5:05 remaining, Harris responded with a 3-pointer for La Salle, cutting the lead to 66-61.
Burrell then hit two free throws and Cage hit one of two free throws after being intentionally fouled by Guillandeaux. On the ensuing possession, Burrell hit a driving layup, extending the lead to 71-61 with 1:35 left.