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XU excels in exhibition

Xavier avenges last year’s loss

By Sabrina Brown
On November 9, 2011

The Xavier men's basketball team defeated the Bellarmine University Knights 76-73 on

Saturday in its first and only exhibition game of the season. The game came with a large dose of

déjà-vu for many Xavier fans after last year's nail-biter in which Xavier lost to the Knights 63-61.

This year's game was no different. The teams saw 11 lead changes and tied the game up 10 times.

The Musketeers' biggest weakness came in the form of Bellarmine's three-point shooting abilities. Xavier was facing a team that could shoot a successful three-point shot from every position. The Knights went 12-29 from outside the arch, as opposed to Xavier's four. In a dramatic contrast to Bellarmine's outside shooting, senior center Kenny Frease led the Musketeers in the key. Frease scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds, a double-double for the 7-footer. Frease was one of four Musketeers, all starters, to score in double digits. Xavier's leading scorer was junior shooting guard Mark Lyons. Lyons scored

20 points, including 2-2 on threepoint field goals. Junior forward Jeff Robinson and senior point guard Tu Holloway also scored in double digits. Holloway matched fellow senior Frease with 18 points, in addition to going 6-6 from the free throw line, and Robinson scored 11. Xavier's fifth starter was freshman small forward Dezmine Wells. Wells played 21 minutes but was scoreless with two rebounds.

Cintas Center saw the return of redshirt junior guard Brad Redford for a total of eight minutes. Fans were holding their breath to see a glimpse of Redford's infamous three-point shooting, but they were left to wait until the Musketeers' return to action on Friday, as Redford went 0 for 2.

Xavier will play the Morgan State Golden Bears at home in its season opener at 7 p.m. on Friday without the aid of Holloway, who was suspended for one game due to a secondary NCAA violation of playing in multiple summer leagues.

The senior was the Musketeers' leading scorer last season and has been named on a number of preseason awards lists.

Most recently, Holloway was named on the preseason list for the Naismith award.

Holloway was also named preseason to be a first-team All-American by ESPN.

Holloway was awarded this honor alongside Jared Sullinger of the Ohio State University, Terrance Jones of the University of Kentucky, Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin and Harrison Barnes of North Carolina.

The Musketeers will rely heavily on Lyons to compensate for Holloway's absence on the backcourt, but an option to consider will be the use of freshman point guard Dee Davis.

Davis, though the same height as Holloway, weighs in at 160 pounds, 30 less than his teammate.

Davis' high school team won the Indiana state champion title during his sophomore and senior years and was named MVP both years.

He led his team senior year to finish with only two losses and he averaged 52 percent shooting from the field.

While Davis is sure to develop into a key player for the Musketeers, it is unlikely that he will be prepared to take on Holloway's role.

Lyons will likely be the source of backcourt power in Holloway's absence.

Last season, Lyons averaged 13.6 points per game.

Even without Holloway, it is clear that the Musketeers have the power both in the paint and on the perimeter to take on the Golden Bears.

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