The Xavier Musketeers may have just punched their ticket for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, if they don't earn the Atlantic 10's automatic bid, with a 71-64 victory over the Saint Louis Billikens in the A-10 Tournament Semifinals. Senior guard Tu Holloway and freshman forward Dezmine Wells led Xavier's attack Saturday, providing just too much scoring for the Billikens to handle.
Xavier's season was held together by a thread after an ugly fight broke out between their players and players on the Cincinnati Bearcats in early December. Tonight, the team proved they were effective in putting the fight behind them, especially Holloway, who was one of the instigators in the scuffle. Holloway led all scorers with 21 points and added five rebounds and three assists. Wells chipped in 18 points of his own, shooting 6-8 from the field and 6-6 from the foul line.
Saint Louis, the A-10's second-seed, is likely still going to the NCAA Tournament anyway after a 25-7 regular season and a 12-4 conference record. The Billikens shot just 25 percent from three-point range, and though they had balanced scoring — five players reached double-digits — no one scored more than 14 and they couldn't match Xavier's offensive firepower.
The Musketeers will be one half of a surprising A-10 title game Sunday night when they take on St. Bonaventure.