Xavier men’s basketball wins Dell BCA Classic title

Senior guard Lionel Chalmers leads team, earns MVP honors | November 18, 2003

The Musketeers celebrated a 76-66 win against Oakland University in the Dell Black Coaches Association Classic championship game in the Cintas Center Monday night. The team, which got its season off to a 3-0 start in the tournament, was led in its final victory by senior guard Lionel Chalmers, who earned BCA Classic MVP honors after scoring 13 of his game-high 20 points in the second half of the championship game.

But the tournament’s title wasn’t decided from the start of the championship game. Xavier didn’t take control until the second half. Oakland used an 8-0 run to build a double-digit lead early on. The Grizzlies led 14-4 through the first eight minutes as the Musketeers missed 14 of their first 16 shots and turned the ball over four times. But Xavier scored seven unanswered points to cut the deficit to three at 14-11 with 11 and a half minutes left in the period.

The Musketeers finally tied the game at 17, and after exchanging the lead four times, the teams went into halftime deadlocked at 35.

Just over two minutes into the second half, the game was once again tied, this time at 39. The Musketeers took off from there, scoring on six of seven possessions while using a 13-0 run to pull away from the Grizzlies. Freshman Justin Doellman, who had been held scoreless in his first two collegiate games, led the charge with six points during the Xavier run. Oakland got within six points of the Musketeers in the final minute, but never seriously challenged Xavier’s lead.

MVP Chalmers averaged 14.6 points in the tournament, and the native of Albany, N.Y., also tied his career high seven rebounds in the final game. Senior Romain Sato, a consensus preseason All-American, scored 11 points while grabbing seven rebounds and recording three steals. He was one of four players from the participating eight teams named to the All-Tournament Team. Doellman finished with 13 points, while classmate Justin Cage tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.

Senior Anthony Myles grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds, and Xavier set a Cintas Center record with 56 rebounds in the game, including 26 on the offensive glass that led to 27 second-chance points. Xavier out-rebounded Oakland by 20. The Golden Grizzlies were led in scoring by Cortney Scott’s 16 points, and Mike Helms added 13 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

In the rest of Monday’s closing tournament play, the University of Illinois-Chicago came in third place with a 75-64 win against fourth-place Mercer University. The University of California-Irvine placed fifth, with Ohio University close behind in sixth. Coppin State and San Diego State University brought up the rear in seventh and eighth place, respectively.