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    Illini Drop Close One At Xavier
    Shaun Pruitt and Xavier's Josh Duncan jockey for a loose ball. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    Shaun Pruitt and Xavier's Josh Duncan jockey for a loose ball. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    Dec. 29, 2006

    Final Stats

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Drew Lavender scored 17 points to lead Xavier to a 65-59 win over Illinois Friday night.

    The Musketeers (9-4) scored their last 15 points on free throws, with Lavender making six of eight down the stretch.

    Lavender made a free throw to make it 53-41 with 2:34 to play, but Jamar Smith made four 3-pointers in the last 2:14 to keep the Illini (12-3) close. Smith pulled Illinois to 56-50 on a 3-pointer with 1:29 left, but Xavier made nine of 12 free throws to finish.

    Justin Doellman scored 15 points for Xavier and Justin Cage added 13. Warren Carter scored 14 for Illinois, Trent Meacham had 11 and Shaun Priutt scored 11 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds.

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