CINCINNATI - St. Bonaventure (9-7, 2-2 Atlantic 10) forward Andrew Nicholson notched 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the Bonnies in a 77-64 loss to Xavier (12-5, 3-1) as the Musketeers extended their conference home game win streak to 42 games.
After a back and forth start that saw the Bonnies keep pace with Xavier, the Musketeers mounted a 14-4 run that spanned 5:16 down the stretch in the first half. The spurt, added to SBU's tough 28 percent shooting clip (7-25) in the half, helped Xavier to a 34-21 lead at the break.
The Bonnies trailed by as many as 22 with 10:28 to play following an 11-5 Xavier run in the second half, but rallied to score nine unanswered, highlighted by an and-1 dunk from freshman Youssou Ndoye.
Ndoye added a two-handed putback dunk and finished 3-of-4 from the field for a career-best nine points while hauling in four boards in 15 minutes of work off the bench.
Xavier All-American Tu Holloway knocked down a pair of free throws and a corner 3-pointer with 6:02 showing that had Xavier in front 66-47. He finished with 12 for the Musketeers.
Refusing to go away, SBU clawed back to within 12, 66-54, after the Bonnies rattled off a 7-0 charge. Nicholson's free throws capped the run and brought SBU closer before Mark Lyons and Jeff Robinson helped to seal the Bonnies' fate.
Lyons converted four 3-pointers en route to 21 points, with Robinson chipping in 11 of his season-high 13 in the second half to pace the Musketeers' 11th straight win over the Bonnies dating back to Feb. 9, 2002.
Charlon Kloof and Demitrius Conger tallied eight apiece for the Bonnies, who return to action next Saturday to host Fordham in a game televised by CBS College Sports Regional.
NOTES: The game was televised live by ESPNU … Mike Crispino and LaPhonso Ellis provided commentary … Xavier has won three straight after a 1-5 skid following the Cincinnati game … The Bonnies held Preseason All-Atlantic 10 selection Kenny Frease scoreless.