Lyons paces Xavier over Morgan State
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Mark Lyons had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists as No. 14 Xavier took down Morgan State, 74-63, to open the regular season.
Dezmine Wells had 12 points while Kenny Frease added 10 for the Musketeers (1-0), who came into the season as the highest-ranked member of the Atlantic 10 Conference after losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
"We didn't play the way we do in practice," said Xavier head coach Chris Mack. "We need to work on our free throws, we need to be more aggressive and finish possessions. Those are the things I saw without looking at the tape."
Kevin Thompson finished the game with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bears (0-1), who finished last season with a mark of 17-14.
Morgan State held the lead early in the game and built it to a 20-10 advantage when Ian Chiles hit a basket with just over 12 minutes to play in the half.
However, nine unanswered points from Xavier got the team back into the game and Justin Martin's three-pointer gave the team a 31-30 lead with three-plus minutes left.
Wells' three-pointer near the end of the half gave the Musketeers a 40-35 lead at the break.
Xavier came out of the break scoring eight of the first nine points with Lyons' three-pointer giving the team a 48-36 lead three minutes in.
A Brad Redford three-ball with seven minutes to play extended Xavier's lead to 65-47 and it crusied from there.
Xavier hosts IUPU-Ft. Wayne on Tuesday...Xavier improved to 3-0 against Morgan State and is 16-0 against members of the MEAC all-time.
11/11 23:00:25 ET