Love leads Xavier to 65-33 win over Delaware State
CINCINNATI (AP)—Jason Love had 10 points and nine rebounds in his first career start Saturday night, helping Xavier recover from back-to-back losses with a 65-33 victory over Delaware State.
The sophomore forward steadied the lineup that had four players in double figures for the eighth time this season. Derrick Brown scored a team-high 13.
Xavier (9-3) got beyond a stinging 82-75 loss to No. 12 Tennessee on Saturday, when the Musketeers blew a four-point lead with four turnovers the final 3:47. They had the right opponent for a breakout game.
Delaware State (3-8) is in the midst of a rough coast-to-coast trip. The Hornets had lost their last three—by 39 at Arizona State, by 29 at Southern California and by 17 at California—and are headed to New Jersey to play Seton Hall.
Their inability to make a shot doomed the defending three-time Mid-Eastern Atlantic champions. Delaware State’s 33 points were the fewest allowed by Xavier since the Musketeers lost to Oklahoma City 30-28 on Jan. 23, 1982, before the shot clock was introduced.
Senior guard Roy Bright leads the Hornets with 19.3 points per game, the only Delaware State player averaging double-digits. Xavier’s man-to-man defense left him few open looks.
Bright missed all seven of his shots in the first half, when Xavier pulled ahead 40-17. It was the fewest points Xavier allowed in an opening half since Fordham scored only 15 last Jan. 11 in the Musketeers’ 71-56 win.
Bright finished 1-of-13 from the field for two points. The Hornets made only 26 percent overall.
Xavier took control with a 14-point run that made it 35-11. Stanley Burrell passed to point guard Drew Lavender for back-to-back 3-pointers, then found Brown for a driving dunk that started the spurt.
C.J. Anderson scored a pair of driving baskets and had a putback that finished the run and, essentially, finished off Delaware State.
Love made his first career start in place of struggling senior Josh Duncan. Duncan sprained his left knee in a win over Cincinnati on Dec. 12 and has been limited in his last two games, going 3-for-12 from the field, including 0-for-7 from behind the arc.
Duncan broke out by making his only 3-point attempt. He finished with eight points.