Crawford Leads Xavier Past Rhode Island

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

the Musketeers.

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.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)