PHILADELPHIA, March 5 (UPI) -- David West scored 10 of his 25 points in overtime Wednesday night as No. 11 Xavier stretched its winning streak to 14 games with an 88-80 victory over Saint Joseph's.
In the battle of Atlantic 10 Conference division leaders, Xavier (23-4, 14-1 A-10 West) clinched a tie for the West Division title after surviving harrowing finishes in its last three victories. The Musketeers needed overtime last week to win at Duquesne, and got a tip-in from West at the buzzer for Saturday's one-point triumph over George Washington.
Xavier rallied from a 71-67 deficit with 39 seconds left in regulation, forging a 71-71 tie on a turnaround bucket by Lionel Chalmers over St. Joe's star Jameer Nelson with seven seconds to go. Nelson had a chance to win it, but misfired on a shot from near half-court.
"It's unfortunate," said Hawks Coach Phil Martelli. "They are young kids that are highly energetic, and they had a lot to do with us getting back in the game. The ending shouldn't take away from their backing of their schoolmates and the greatness of the game."
West took control in overtime, giving the Musketeers the lead for good at 78-76 with 1:35 left. After the Hawks' Pat Carroll missed a three-pointer, West added a basket for a four-point advantage with 56 seconds left.
West made 3-of-4 from the line after the Hawks were whistled for a technical when fans threw debris onto the court.
"Two very quality teams in a tremendous atmosphere," Martelli said. "We got maximum effort out there."
Xavier freshman Dedrick Finn helped seal the victory by making foul shots in the final 35 seconds. West made 3-of-4 from the line after the Hawks were whistled for a technical when fans threw debris onto the court.
St. Joseph's (21-5, 11-4 East) played without leading scorer Delonte West, who suffered a stress fracture in his right fibula in Saturday's victory over Richmond. West averages 18.2 points per game.
Nelson finished one shy of his career high with 33 points for St. Joseph's, which fell to 9-1 at the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.