Xavier loses 73-61 to Western Kentucky in road exhibition
November 5, 2011
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Derrick Gordon scored 17 points
Saturday to lead Western Kentucky to a 73-61 men's basketball victory against
Xavier University of Louisiana.
It was the third consecutive year that the Hilltoppers,
an NCAA Division I member, beat the NAIA-member Gold Rush in an exhibition,
but this was the closest of the three margins. Western Kentucky won by 53 points
in 2009 and by 15 points in 2010.
T.J. Price scored 12 points for WKU, and Nigel Snipes
and Kahlil McDonald had 11 apiece. Snipes grabbed 11 rebounds.
Wanto Joseph had 11 points, four rebounds and three
assists and was Xavier's lone double-figure scorer. Kevin Miller had nine points
and five rebounds, and Chris Iles and Renard Smith scored eight points apiece.
Xavier, ranked 21st in NAIA Division I, trailed 41-25 at halftime but outscored the
Hilltoppers 36-32 in the second half. Iles made the second of two free throws
with 3:28 remaining to cut WKU's margin to 63-56, but the Hilltoppers scored
the next six points to clinch the victory.
WKU outshot Xavier 41.1 to 40 percent from the floor,
committed 13 turnovers and gained 27. The Gold Rush had a 39-36 rebound advantage
even though two of Xavier's tallest players, Denzell Erves and Anthony Simmons,
fouled out. WKU outscored Xavier 23-16 in free throws.
The Hilltopers led 4-0 through the first 2:15,
then the Gold Rush scored eight consecutive points — five by Erves
and three by Miller — to take an 8-4 lead. WKU responded with a 9-0
run before Xavier took its final lead, 16-15, when Nick Haywood passed to
Smith for a 3-pointer at 11:16.
WKU had a 10-0 run in the final 3:22 of the first half, then took its
biggest lead, 45-27, on Price's basket in the paint with 17:33 remaining.
Xavier will stay on the road for a 7 p.m. Monday
exhibition at seventh-ranked Vanderbilt.