Men's Basketball Downed by #19 Xavier, 68-54
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  02/26/2009
Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's couldn't break its skid against #19 Xavier, falling to the Musketeers, 68-54, at The Palestra, despite 24 points from Ahmad Nivins. The Hawks (14-13; 7-6) have now lost five in a row.

SJU played without starting guard Tasheed Carr, who suffered a minor concussion in practice earlier in the week and was ruled out by doctors for the game. Sophomore Charoy Bentley made his first career start in Carr's place, but went scoreless in the game.

Derrick Brown had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and B.J Raymond scored 18 points to lead Xavier.

The Musketeers (23-5, 11-3) led almost the entire game and pulled away from the Hawks over the final four minutes, as SJU committed a total of 19 turnovers in the game.

The Hawks are on their longest streak since they dropped nine straight in 1998-99.

"The flaws have been there all year long," said SJU coach Phil Martelli

The Hawks hung in during the second half due to some sloppy play by Xavier and cut a double-digit lead down to six. But Brown put away the Hawks with two dunks that silenced the Palestra. Brown, who went over the 1,000-point mark, helped give Xavier a 56-44 lead and it would go up to 20 with steady trips to the free-throw line.

When Raymond buried a 3-pointer with 11:25 left to give Xavier a 50-36 lead, the Hawks had more turnovers (13) than field goals (11). SJU finished the game shooting 17-for-46 from the field and allowed Xavier to grab 17 offensive rebounds.

"We were winning in January (7 in a row), and when the situation came up and we had to make a winning play, we did," Martelli said. "We haven't made a winning play in a couple of weeks."

Freshman Bryant Irwin came off the bench to record a career-high 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting, to give the Hawks just two players in double figures.

The Hawks were fortunate to only trail by five at halftime. They missed 12 of their first 15 shots, but held a sizable edge from the free-throw line (9-for-10 to Xavier's 1-for-3).