Kenny Frease and Tu Holloway scored 12 points apiece as 12th-ranked Xavier broke out to an early lead and cruised to a 70-56 victory over Georgia in a non-conference basketball game here Friday night.
The Musketeers (4-0) scored the game’s first 10 points and never trailed . Georgia, hampered by cold shooting and foul trouble, needed 7 1/2 minutes to score its first field goal and didn’t reach double figures until the 8:06 mark.
”We got beat by a really good team,” coach Mark Fox said. ”They just manhandled us early on. Their defense was so much better than our offense. I was concerned about our poor start. We had a poor shoot around this morning and obviously it carried over to the game tonight. We tried everything in the first half but just couldn’t get the bleeding stopped.”
Despite the cold-shooting start, Georgia (4-2) managed to climb back within 14-11 on Dustin Ware’s 3-pointer with 8:06 left in the first half. The Dawgs, however, were unable to get any closer. Still, as the first half neared its conclusion, Ware connected on two foul shots to bring the Dawgs within 26-19. After a Xavier miss, they failed to convert a final possession and Holloway closed first-half scoring with a pair of free throws.
Leading by nine at halftime, Xavier broke the game open by scoring the first 12 points of the final period. Holloway’s jumper with 15:59 left finished the run and put the Musketeers ahead 40-19. The XU lead reach its largest at 63-27 on a Mark Lyons layup with 9:24 remaining.
Georgia closed the game on 12-2 run to make the final score deceptively close.
The Dawgs travel next to Colorado for a Monday night contest against the Buffaloes. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. (EST).