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Updated: Saturday, February 1, 2003 6:51 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(23) Xavier 66, Richmond 52
XAVIER (OH) MUSKETEERS
Xavier (OH) Musketeers
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RICHMOND SPIDERS
Richmond Spiders
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RICHMOND, Virginia (Ticker) -- David West collected 20 points and 12 rebounds as 23rd-ranked Xavier avenged its only Atlantic 10 Conference loss of the season with a 66-52 victory over Richmond.

The Musketeers (15-4, 6-1 A-10 West) extended their winning streak to six games and welcomed back senior guard Lionel Chalmers, who had not played since fracturing a bone in his right foot on December 31.

Chalmers had just two points and missed all four of his shots from the field, but still helped Xavier make amends for a 67-59 home setback on January 7, which was the last loss for the Musketeers.

"This was a great win for us. Anytime you lose the first game you try to refocus and fix mistakes that hurt you," said Xavier coach Thad Matta, whose team had not played since a win over Fordham on January 25. "This week off really helped us. We worked on our fundamentals and defense that made the difference."

The absence of Chalmers, who led Xavier in assists at the time of the injury, ended up a learning experience for Musketeers.

"We knew some guys had to step up," said West, who was limited to 10 points in the first meeting. "Now he can work his way back gradually."

Patrick O'Malley had a career-high 20 points for Richmond (12-7, 6-2), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Jeff Myers had 10 points and was the only other Spider to score in double figures.

"This was a tough game for us," Richmond coach Jerry Wainwright said. "It was the first time in a couple of weeks that we let our offense effect our defense."

Xavier controlled the boards, with West helping the Musketeers to a 37-23 edge. Romain Sato added 19 points and eight rebounds and Anthony Myles had 17 and eight.

Sato had a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-0 run that gave Xavier a commanding 57-42 lead with just over seven minutes remaining.

O'Malley made 5-of-10 shots from 3-point range, but the Spiders were just 8-of-23 from long distance overall. One of the 3-pointers was pulled the Spiders to within 45-42 with 14:43 to play.

The Spiders finally ended the 12-0 drought on a basket by Johnathan Collins, but it was too late.


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