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Xavier men's basketball defeats IPFW

The Musketeers start off their season 2-0 with victories at home over IPFW and Morgan State

By Sabrina Brown
On November 17, 2011

The Xavier men's basketball team recorded its second regular season win last night, starting out the season strong at 2-0.

The Musketeers defeated the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort-Wayne Mastodons 86-63, in contrast to their 76-66 win over IPFW last season in overtime.

The Musketeers were joined on the court by senior point guard Tu Holloway for the first time in the regular season due to a one-game suspension for a secondary NCAA violation.

The senior started his season strong, scoring 24 points for the Musketeers, the leading scorer for Xavier.

However, it is clear that this Musketeer's role on the court is changing, and he is well aware.

For a player that played 40 minutes a game in nearly every match-up last season, Holloway played for only 34 minutes against the Mastodons, and not all of those minutes were played as a point guard.

Holloway found himself playing the two-guard multiple times throughout the game. He stepped aside as freshman Dee Davis took point.

With six assists, Holloway is finding that Xavier's biggest change this season will be the increase in players who can be relied upon to score on a frequent basis.

Those six assists were far from unnoticed.

Junior shooting guard Mark Lyons followed closely behind his backcourt mate with 21 points and five assists.

For the second game in a row, one of those assists went to freshman Dezmine Wells for a dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

The freshman did not disappoint after his collegiate debut, scoring 16 points and recording seven boards.

Though he is a new addition to the team, he is quickly becoming a fan favorite.

While the fans are enjoying the show, head coach Chris Mack was unhappy with the flashy tactics of the dynamic duo. "Make the simple play. Sometimes our guys play to score. We've gotta get them to make the right play, the smart play. They tend to do that for the most part," Mack said.

Regardless of Mack's desire for simpler plays, it is clear the Musketeer's power was coming from their backcourt as Wells, Lyons and Holloway alone scored 61 of Xavier's 86 points. The Musketeers were missing the effects of senior center Kenny Frease. Frease scored six points but contributed four of the team's 16 turnovers.

The 7-footer also tallied four rebounds, all defensive.

The Musketeers will take on the Miami (OH) RedHawks on Friday at 7 p.m., marking the third game of Xavier's four-game homestand.

The RedHawks are currently 1-0 after a 72-67 overtime victory over the Dayton Flyers.

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