CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- David West's career day helped Xavier overcome a 15-point deficit and show which team is tops on Interstate 75.
West recorded a career-high 47 points and 18 rebounds as the 19th-ranked Musketeers extended their home winning streak over Dayton to 18 games with an 85-77 Atlantic 10 Conference victory.
Despite having his index finger on his bruised right taped, West went 15-of-26 from the field and 16-of-19 from the line to record the second-highest point total in school history.
"This was the most intense, the most important game," West said. "It was a great atmosphere."
The senior forward came within three points of Steve Thomas' record set on January 6, 1964 against Detroit. His total did eclipse the Cintas Center mark of 34 points by Romain Sato on February 14, 2002 and is the third-highest amount in Division I this season.
"Dayton is a great team, but there is a guy who saved us named David West," Musketeers coach Thad Matta said. "He's the most unselfish guy in the post that I've seen. He's been a joy to coach and watch.
"I could not be happier for him to have a game like this at Xavier. He's the best I've ever coached, and we are going to miss him dearly."
The all-time leading rebounder in Atlantic 10 history, West reached double figures in scoring and rebounding for the ninth straight game, 12th in his past 13th and 16th overall this season.
West, whose previous career high was 31, moved into third place on Xavier's all-time scoring list and now has 1,910 career points.
"It was a whale of an effort by West," Dayton coach Oliver Purnell said. "He is tough to stop. He played a tremendous game today, and he has an awfully good supporting cast.
"You don't want to play West one way. We did some different things to try to stop him. We played him straight and went to two different zones. We played a full-court and a half-court press to try to get them to shoot quickly and get them out of their rhythm."
Sato added 16 for Xavier (17-4, 8-1 A-10 West), which moved into a first-place tie with Dayton in the conference standings with its eighth straight victory.
Keith Waleskowski scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Brooks Hall and Sean Finn each scored 13 points for Dayton (16-4, 8-1 A-10), which had its 10-game winning streak come to an end. It was its first defeat since an 85-74 setback at Duke on December 29.
"We have to keep ourselves focused on the fact that we are still in first place and we have more games to play," Waleskowski said. "I feel like I played awful and I'm pretty upset about that. I'm really disappointed about the loss."
The Flyers were on their longest winning streak since an 11-game run in the 1989-90 season. They also had a four-game road winning streak snapped, their longest since a five-game run in the 1968-69 campaign.
"Both teams played well today," Purnell said. "We didn't play poorly, but we just did not play well enough to get it done today. We needed to be almost perfect on offense in the last six minutes. But we just didn't play well enough down the stretch."
West was the only thing that was working for the Musketeers early. He scored Xavier's first 13 points and 18 of it's first 20.
Meanwhile, Dayton looked as if it was determined to post its first victory at Xavier since January 19, 1981 when it jumped out to a 16-6 advantage within the first seven minutes of the game.
The Flyers took their largest lead, 26-11, with 10:23 left in the first period on a basket by Finn.
Xavier outscored Dayton, 22-10, to pull within three points and went into halftime trailing by 39-35. West scored 11 points during the run and had 22 in the half.
West knotted the game at 44-44 with a pair of free throws with 16:01 left. Dedrick Finn nailed a 3-pointer a little more than three minutes later, giving the Musketeers their first lead, 49-48.
Xavier went ahead for good, 73-72, with 3:52 to go on a pair of free throws. He added a layup, Anthony Myles hit a basket and Lionel Chalmers and Finn each made two free throws for a nine-point bulge with 31 seconds remaining.
There were 13 lead changes in the second half.
By winning the back-and-forth confrontation, the Musketeers improved to 78-55 in this series that dates back to the 1919-20 season and to 23-14 in the Blackburn-McCafferty Trophy series, which began in the 1980-81 campaign and is named after former coaches from both school.
West's superlative performance brought him his second MVP award in the trophy series.