PARKVILLE, Mo. — He only needed 15 points to reach 2,000 for his career, but Xavielle Brown lit up the arena and then some Thursday night at Breckon Sports Center in Parkville, pouring in a career-high 41 points as No. 17 Park University bounced Lyon College from the American Midwest Conference Men's Basketball Championship, 86-63, advancing to Saturday's semifinal round at The Breck, against Harris-Stowe State University at 3 p.m.
Brown is now the third Pirate to reach 2,000 career points, joining Walter Bethea and Beville Taitte in the 2,000-point club, and after his 41 Thursday, he sits third in Park's all-time scoring column with 2,026 career points.
"What can you say about a guy like (Xavielle Brown)? He does everything you can ask of a student-athlete – in the classroom, in the program, on the practice court, in games," said Park coach Jason Kline. "He will tell you right now, if you ask him, that this win is more important to him than a career high or a career milestone. He's a guy that's addicted to winning, and he showed tonight why he's our leader."
Park (21-6) only needed one other double-digit scorer to roll in the tournament quarterfinals, Ikem Erobuna's 13, and the Pirates shot 54.2 percent in the game, including nearly 63 percent in the second half. Lyon (16-15) ended its season putting three in double digits, led by 15 from Braden Wendel, while Tyler Robinson added 14 and Spencer Brown had 12. Lyon only managed three makes from the 3-point line and turned the ball over 16 times, while Park hit 13 3-pointers and limited itself to only five giveaways.
Brown, who also added a team-best five rebounds with two blocks and two steals, wasted little time getting to 2,000, making a baseline jumper with 7:35 left in the first half, putting the Pirates in front by nine, 27-18. With that big basket behind him, Brown went on to score 11 more points in the first half, and the Pirates hit 8-of-9 from the floor in the last 3:53 of the first, outscoring the Scots 20-2 in the stretch to take a 51-28 lead at intermission.
Park's lead stretched to 29 in the first seven minutes of the second half, and Brown reached his career high before exiting the game, replaced by Brandon Townsell, hitting three-straight from above the arc to become the first Park player since Walter Bethea in the 1998 season to score more than 40 points in a single game.
Dalton Rose had three-straight points between the 12:21 and 11:50 marks to give Park its biggest lead of the game, up 72-42, and the Scots didn't get closer than 22 points for the remainder, as Park locked up its second-straight trip to the AMC's semifinal round.
The Pirates will host Harris-Stowe, after the Hornets upset Central Baptist in Conway, Arkansas, Thursday, 83-77. If the Pirates can get by the Hornets Saturday, Park will stay home for the rest of the tournament, after Missouri Baptist University knocked off Columbia College 78-73 in Columbia. William Woods University also collected a road win Thursday night, beating fourth-seeded Freed-Hardeman University 91-77 in Henderson, Tennessee.
Saturday's game with Harris-Stowe will air on the Pirate Sports Network at www.parkathletics.tv, a simulcast of the AMC Digital Network's broadcast at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/amc/. Both links will also have live play-by-play stats from the game.