CINCINNATI (AP) - Jordan Crawford had his first career
double-double Saturday, scoring 21 points and making all the big
plays during a 10-0 run early in the second half that sent Xavier
to a 72-61 victory over Rhode Island.
Xavier (13-6, 5-1 Atlantic 10) hadn't led or made a 3-pointer
until Crawford - the conference's leading scorer - took the game
over during a 1:24 stretch. Crawford had three rebounds, passed to
Jason Love for a layup, drove for a layup and hit back-to-back 3s
during the run.
Crawford finished with a career-high 12 rebounds and six
assists. Jamel McLean had 16 points and eight rebounds.
Lamonte Ulmer and Keith Cothran scored 12 apiece for Rhode
Island (15-3, 3-2), which has lost 15 of its last 16 games against
It didn't play to expectations.
A matchup of the league's two highest-scoring teams got off to a
sluggish and ragged start and never settled into a flow. Rhode
Island leads the league in scoring at 79.6 points per game, fueled
by a defense that gambles for steals. Xavier is second in scoring
at 78.3 points.
Instead, it was foul-filled from start to finish. The teams
combined for 46 fouls - more than one per minute - and a couple of
The Rams clamped down on Xavier's outside shooters, who lead the
A10 in 3-point shooting percentage, and forced the Musketeers to go
inside and draw fouls, which they did. Then, they missed the free
Rhode Island led 29-26 at halftime by forcing Xavier to try to
score inside. The Musketeers went only 8 of 16 from the line,
missing six of eight over one stretch. Xavier also turned the ball
over 12 times in the opening half, but the Rams scored only six
points off their seven steals.
Xavier finished the half with more turnovers (12) than field
goals (9). The Musketeers were 0-for-3 from behind the arc - an
indication that the Rams' defensive strategy was working. It was
the first time all season that Xavier failed to make a 3 in a half.
Crawford ended the slump during that game-changing 10-0 run that
gave Xavier its first lead, 38-35. He had three rebounds, passed to
Love for a fast break layup, scored off a drive and hit
back-to-back 3s, giving him 10 rebounds and 18 points at the 16:22
Then, Xavier's front line got into foul trouble.
Seven-foot forward Kenny Frease fouled out at 11:04, and Love
picked up his fourth foul on a charge less than three minutes
later, leaving it up to Xavier's guards to hold onto the lead.
Crawford's no-look pass to McLean for a dunk put Xavier up 61-50
with 5:50 left. Rhode Island never got closer than seven points the
rest of the way.