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Boise, Idaho B.J. Raymond scored 15 points and Xavier finally broke through Wisconsin's defense midway through the second half, pulling away to a 60-49 victory Sunday in the second round of the East Regional.
The Musketeers (27-7) struggled as the Badgers controlled the pace for the first 30 minutes, before Xavier pulled away with a 13-4 run and hung onto the lead from the foul line.
Wisconsin (20-13) kept Xavier off balance, but the tight defense wasn't quite enough to overcome 29 percent shooting. The Badgers were just 16-for-56 from the floor and made three of 20 3-point attempts.
Marcus Landry scored 18 and Trevon Hughes had 17 points for the Badgers.
Derrick Brown added 15 points and C.J. Anderson pulled down eight rebounds for fourth-seeded Xavier, which will play in Boston on Thursday despite the sloppy performance — the Musketeers were 18-for-46 from the floor and just 18-for-26 from the foul line.
Wisconsin patiently worked the shot clock and even led by a point with about 9:10 remaining before the Musketeers cracked through.
Dante Jackson hit two free throws to give Xavier a 38-37 lead with 8:57 left, starting the 13-4 run that put the Badgers away. After Jackson's foul shots, Jamel McLean blocked a shot by Landry, then ran down to the other end and took a pass from Terrell Holloway for a two-handed dunk and a 40-37 lead with about 8:30 left.
McLean had another power dunk that put Xavier up 44-39 with 6:06 remaining, and after Landry answered with a dunk for Wisconsin, Jackson banked in a shot and Raymond hit a 3-pointer that stretched the lead to 49-41 — the largest of the game to that point.
Tim Jarmusz hit a 3-pointer for the Badgers, but Kenny Frease got a layup to roll in and Brown hit two free throws for a 53-44 lead with only 1:42 remaining.
Xavier didn't make field goal for the first three minutes of the second half — even a dunk attempt by Love bounced off the rim — as the Badgers opened with a 6-1 run. Hughes scored on a reverse layup for the first points of the half, then spun 360 degrees for another layup that put Wisconsin up 33-26 and prompted a time out by Xavier with 17:15 left in the game.
Wisconsin led 27-25 after an ugly first half that was just fine with the Badgers, who slowed the game by working the shot clock and keeping the Musketeers from getting any transition opportunities. Xavier was 8-for-23 in the half, only slightly better than Wisconsin's 8-for-24 performance.
Hughes missed seven of his first eight shots, but made all eight of his free throws and had 10 points at halftime. Xavier committed eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes and didn't score for the first four minutes of the game.