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Xavier beats Robert Morris 61-59

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Xavier beats Robert Morris 61-59

CINCINNATI (AP) Brad Redford sank both ends of a bonus free throw situation with 37.1 seconds left and Xavier held on for a 61-59 win over pesky Robert Morris on Saturday.

Redford, previously scoreless for the game, was fouled by Lucky Jones after a ball fake in the corner and made both free throws. The Colonials (1-3) called two timeouts after regaining possession, but Karvel Anderson missed a 3-pointer from the left wing with 12 seconds left.

Robert Morris maintained possession after a held ball, but Velton Jones couldn't connect on a leaner and Coron Williams missed a desperation 3-pointer as he was falling out of bounds.

Justin Martin scored a career-high 17 points and Dee Davis added 15 for the Musketeers (3-0).

Freshman Semaj Christon, who set Xavier's single-game freshman assist record with eight in the Musketeers' 62-47 win over Butler on Tuesday, finished with 12 and a team-high six assists in just his second career game and first start. Christon missed Xavier's opener while recovering from an infection.

Martin, who scored a combined 21 points in Xavier's first two games, was 6 of 9 from the field, including a career-high four 3-pointers in six tries.

The Musketeers overcame a season-high 15 turnovers to go 3-0 for the fifth straight season and improved to 4-0 in their series against Robert Morris (1-3).

Anderson led the upset-minded Colonials with a career-high 17 points. Velton Jones added 15 for Robert Morris.

Xavier led by as many as eight points, 43-35, on a Jeff Robinson dunk with 15:48 left in the game, but the Colonials came back to tie the score twice in the final 3:49, the second at 59-59 on a jumper by Velton Jones with 1:51 left in the game.

The Colonials, who made just 16 of 70 3-pointers over their first three games, sank their first five and 6 of 9 in the first half, and led 19-17 with 12:28 left before halftime. Xavier countered by shooting a sizzling 65 percent (13 of 20) from the field to lead by as many as seven, 26-19, with 8:31 left before settling for a 36-31 halftime advantage on Davis's 3-pointer with 1 second left.

The Musketeers never trailed after Christon's driving layup gave them a 21-19 lead with 11:01 left in the first half.

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

Andre Burakovsky will be sidelined for the remainder of Washington's first-round series vs. Columbus, but he isn’t necessarily out for the remainder of the playoffs, Coach Barry Trotz said on Friday.

Burakovsky suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Capitals' Game 2 overtime loss and has not been on the ice since.

Trotz said the 23-year-old top-six winger needs “minor” surgery.

That procedure, however, will not preclude Burakovsky from returning to the Caps’ lineup in subsequent rounds, should Washington advance.

“That's why I said minor surgery,” Trotz added, asked if Burky might return at a later date.

This latest surgery is the second for Burakovsky this season. In late October, he had a procedure to repair a broken left thumb and missed the next 20 games.

Since his departure in Game 2, Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephenson have taken turns replacing Burakovsky on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks remarked after Game 2 and following practice on Thursday that he was partly to blame for Bradley Beal's modest scoring output through two games in the team's playoff series against the Raptors. They weren't just throwaway lines, a coach trying to make his star player feel better for struggling in the playoffs.

No, Brooks truly meant what he said and followed up those comments with an apology face-to-face. Brooks met with Beal and John Wall in between Games 2 and 3 to see how they can get Beal going and reiterated that some of it all was on the coach.

"He apologized to me, which was weird because he's somebody who always holds me accountable for stuff," Beal said after Friday's shootaround. "I guess he figured I wasn't shooting the ball enough and he thought it was his fault. I don't know."

Beal, who is averaging 14.0 points in two games and scored only nine in Game 2, came away from the meeting with a good understanding of what he needs to do to get back on track. After apologizing, Brooks laid out a strategy in hopes that he, Wall and Beal can all be on the same page moving forward.

They need to get their All-Star shooting guard back to form on the offensive end.

"He just basically challenged me. He challenged me to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive end," Beal said.

What has made Beal's scoring troubles through two games particularly surprising is how well he played against the Raptors during the regular season. He averaged 28.8 points in four games against Toronto and all were without Wall.

Beal shot 50 percent against the Raptors both from the field and from three. So far this series he's shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from long range.

Asked whether there is anything he can draw from the regular season to apply to the playoffs, Beal said it's not as easy as it may seem.

"Those games are different. The matchups are different to an extent. It's totally different in the playoffs because you have more time to prep and prepare and gameplan for us," he said. 

"I think the biggest thing is them being physical. They are real physical with me. Whenever I'm standing around on offense or moving around, they are grabbing me. I just need to be physical back with them. Keep moving off the ball and especially if Kyle [Lowry] is guarding me. Tire him out as much as possible. Continue to be aggressive."

Coaches use all sorts of leadership tactics to motivate players. Perhaps an apology will do the trick.

MORE ON THE WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

HISTORIC ODDS FOR TEAMS THAT GO DOWN 0-2

BROOKS MAY CHANGE STARTING LINEUP FOR GAME 3