No Collapse This Year: Xavier Advances

Musketeers blow 10-point lead, but pull away down stretch
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Mar 22, 2008 9:19 PM CDT
Xavier guard Dante Jackson, left, pressures Purdue's Marcus Green during the first half in a second-round NCAA West Regional men's basketball tournament game Saturday, March 22, 2008, in Washington.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Purdue made its run today, but third-seeded Xavier refused to wilt in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, like it did last season. The Musketeers blew a 10-point second-half lead, but answered with seven straight points for an 85-78 win over the Boilermakers, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Last season, the Musketeers blew a double-digit lead to Ohio State in a second-round loss.

“In the huddle, we said, ‘Not this year fellas’ ” sophomore Derrick Brown said. Xavier (29-6) built a 67-61 lead with 3:25 left, then Purdue (25-9) put on a full-court press. The Musketeers hit their free throws to stay ahead, led by point guard Drew Lavender, who hit eight in the final 57 seconds.