Xavier 67, Fordham 59

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 07, 2012
Mark Lyons scored 20 points, including two big free throws with 31 seconds to play, and Xavier beat Fordham 67-59 on Saturday, the Musketeers' 10th straight victory over the Rams. Dezmine Wells had 13 points and Andre Walker added seven points and 14 rebounds for Xavier (10-5, 1-1 Atlantic 10), which had lost five of six since its brawl with Cincinnati on Dec. 10. The Musketeers had a 16-point lead over Fordham (7-8, 0-2) with 9:38 to go and saw it get as close as five points, the last time on two free throws by Kervin Bristol with 37 seconds to play. Lyons was fouled 6 seconds later and made both ends of a 1-and-1 to make it 66-59. After a missed 3-point attempt by Branden Frazier. Wells ended the scoring with a free throw with 16 seconds left. Frazier had 22 points for the Rams, who came in having won three of four including a home win over No. 22 Harvard. Bryan Smith had 12 points for Fordham and Chris Gaston added 10. Xavier finished with a 44-31 advantage in rebounding, including 14-8 on the offensive end that led to a 12-7 difference in second-chance points. Fordham, which came into the game next-to-last in the 14-team conference shooting 61.6 percent from the free throw line, hurt itself by making 13 of 22 from the line. The Musketeers used a 9-0 run to take a 34-23 lead with 3:44 left in the first half. The Rams closed the half on a 7-1 run to make it 35-30, taking advantage of six turnovers by the Musketeers in a 3-minute stretch. Xavier only had eight turnovers for the half. Xavier coach Chris Mack hurt his left knee during practice on Friday and was limited to a lot of sitting on the bench. Mack, who had three knee surgeries during his playing days at Xavier, used a crutch to walk around but he spent most of the game sitting down with his left leg extended. Xavier leads the all-time series between the schools 22-3.
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