Duncan scores 16 in helping No. 10 Xavier to 74-65 victory over Dayton
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP)—Stanley Burrell and No. 10 Xavier plan to make a statement in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
Burrell and company are miffed that no one on the top-seeded Musketeers was selected to the conference’s first-team team earlier this week.
After the coaches’ choices were announced Monday, Burrell called the league pathetic.
The senior guard didn’t back down on Thursday after Xavier got 16 points from Josh Duncan and limited Dayton to five baskets in the final 12 minutes of a 74-65 victory in the conference quarterfinals at Boardwalk Hall.
“I just wanted to stand up for them and be a leader, not call the league out,” Burrell said. “I’m frustrated that guys that are champions and (they) are not getting any awards. It was tough. We’ll move forward and be happy with the victory.”
If there were any regrets, Burrell was sorry that he singled out Bryant Dunston of Fordham and Darnell Harris of Saint Joseph’s for getting second-team selections ahead of some of his teammates.
“I wouldn’t take any of it back except (calling the other players out),” Burrell said. “I really meant what I said and I stand behind what I said.”
C.J. Anderson added 15 points for Xavier, Drew Lavender had 12 and Derrick Brown 11 as the top-seeded Musketeers (27-5) beat Dayton (21-10) for the third time this season.
Lavender and Duncan were named to the conference’s second team.
The Musketeers advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the seventh straight year. They will play Friday night against fifth-seeded Saint Joseph’s, which beat fourth-seeded Richmond 61-47 in the second quarterfinal. Xavier and the Hawks (20-11) split two regular-season games.
Duncan said being overlooked has motivated the team.
“We want to go as far as we can,” he said. “We’re not satisfied. We wanted to come here and advance as far as we can. Everybody on this team has just one mind-set. We want to go as far as we can. We are not settling for anything.
Xavier coach Sean Miller defended Burrell, saying his senior wore his emotions on his sleeve and did not intend to demean anyone in the league.
Marcus Johnson had a career-high 26 points and Brian Roberts added 13 for the Flyers, who used a 21-6 run to take a 44-41 lead early in the second half.
Duncan, the conference’s sixth man of the year, hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 44 with 12:59 to play.
After Andres Sandoval gave Dayton its final lead at 46-44 with a basket inside, Anderson hit two free throws to start a 14-2 spurt that featured a go-ahead drive across the lane by Duncan and a 3-pointer by the senior. Burrell also nailed a 3-pointer as the Musketeers took a 58-48 lead.
Johnson, who was 13-of-16 from the free throw line, hit four free throws to cut the lead to 58-52 and Dayton had two chances to narrow the margin, but Kurt Huelsman missed two free throws and Johnson misfired on a 3.
Brown and Anderson sandwiched layups around a Dayton free throw to push the lead to 62-53 and Dayton never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Dayton, which was forced to go to overtime in the first round against Saint Louis on Wednesday, was 5-of-16 from the field in the final 12 minutes. Three baskets came in the final minute.
Dayton coach Brian Gregory still hopes the Flyers make the NCAA tournament.
“A lot depends on what happens in other games,” Gregory said. “We’ll be in the mid-30s in RPI and strength of schedule, and we’ll have 10 wins against teams in the top 100 of RPI, and two wins against teams in the Top 25. We’ve done a lot of good things this year. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.”