Dower's Double-Double Propels Zags To Big Win At Xavier

CINCINNATI (AP) - Sam Dower scored a season-high 20 points and had 10 rebounds Saturday night, steadying Gonzaga to a 72-65 victory over an Xavier team finally back to full strength.

Gonzaga (11-2) won its sixth straight game by dominating in rebounds and three-point shooting. The Zags were 8 of 19 from behind the arc - Xavier managed to make a mere 3 of 18 threes - and won the rebounding battle 44-31.

"I guess they just wanted it more than us," Xavier center Kenny Frease said. "There's not any other explanation. It's not like they're bigger or stronger than we are."

Xavier (9-4) has lost four of five, sapped and knocked out of rhythm by four suspensions from its brawl with rival Cincinnati. The Musketeers had everybody back on Saturday, but couldn't put together a run during a game that featured four ties and eight lead changes.

"That was a heck of a win for us," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "That team has not lost when they are complete. It wasn't easy."

Mark Lyons and Tu Holloway led Xavier with 15 points each.

Xavier was No. 8 in the nation and unbeaten after a 23-point victory over rival Cincinnati on Dec. 10 that ended with a brawl. Four Bearcats and four Musketeers were suspended.

Reserve Dower, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, has scored in double figures in five of the last six games, going 30 of 46 from the field in that span.

Dower, who was 7 of 11 against Xavier, said, "In the warmups, my shots were falling. It carried over into the game.

"I guess they scouted me and didn't think I could hit the midrange jumper, but I was feeling it tonight."




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