Gonzaga beats Xavier 72-65 for 6th straight winXavier forward Dezmine Wells (5) and Gonzaga guard Michael Hart chase a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
CINCINNATI (AP) Sam Dower scored a season-high 20 points and had 10 rebounds Saturday night, steadying Gonzaga to a 72-65 victory over a Xavier team finally back to full strength.
Gonzaga (11-2) won its sixth straight by dominating in rebounds and 3-point shooting. The Bulldogs went 8 of 18 from behind the arc - Xavier managed only 3 of 18 - and won the rebounding battle 44-31.
Xavier (9-4) has lost four of five, sapped and knocked out of rhythm by four suspensions from its brawl with Cincinnati. The Musketeers had everybody back on Saturday, but couldn't put together a run during a close game that featured four ties and eight lead changes, with neither team ahead by more than seven until the closing seconds.
Mark Lyons and Tu Holloway led Xavier with 15 points each.