By Greg Pilafas
The No. 12 ranked Saint Xavier University men’s basketball team has been on an absolute tear as of late winning their last 11 games and 19 of their last 20 contests. SXU added another two wins since January 30 and are now sitting at a record of 22-4 overall as well as an 18-2 record in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
Senior point guard Anthony Grant scored 14 points Saturday.
The Cougars defeated Judson University (Ill.) on the road on January 30 by the final score of 75-67, and then Saint Xavier returned home for a match-up against Purdue University Calumet on Saturday, February 2; a game SXU won, 94-86. The Cougars used balanced scoring and a tough defense to win both conference battles.
Beginning with the most recent contest for Saint Xavier, SXU found themselves in a tough battle with the visiting Peregrines from Purdue University Calumet (Ind.) on Saturday, February 2, at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars prevailed in the contest by the final score of 94-86.
Saint Xavier had four players reach double figures on the night led by sophomore guard Jack Krieger who had a career-high night. Krieger shot a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line and ended the afternoon with a career-best 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds and three blocks.
“I had been working on my free throw shooting during practice this week and that was something that I wanted to stress so I made sure I knocked those down. This was a hard fought game for us, but all that matters is we came out with a W,” said Krieger.
Senior point guard Roosevelt Green posted 24 points and four assists in 35 minutes of action on the afternoon as well. Senior point guard Anthony Grant and senior forward Dominique Harvey each reached double figures as Grant chipped in 14 and Harvey added 12 points off the bench.
“This was a tough game and we really did not play the way that we had wanted to. We played a good first five minutes where we jumped out to a big lead, but we have to continue that play for the following 35 minutes. We just have to play better going forward,” said Grant.
The Cougars only found themselves tied one time in the early going at 2-2 and from that point forward they never looked back en route to the eight point victory.
Saint Xavier defeated Judson University on Wednesday, January 30, 75-67 following four players scoring in double figures for the visiting SXU. The Cougars were led by Grant who scored 20 points in 32 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Jack Krieger had a career-high 27 points Saturday afternoon.
Harvey recorded a double-double in the game with 15 points and 11 boards. Green and Krieger also tallied double digit games with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Saint Xavier trailed in the game by 10 points with under four minutes to go in the first half at 30-20, but SXU used a 26-0 run over the final minutes of the first half and the first seven minutes of the second half to take a 46-30 lead over the host Eagles. The game was a seesaw battle all the way throughout that saw six tie scores as well as nine lead changes in the contest.
Junior guard Brad Karp did not play in the contest due to a minor leg injury, but the Cougars rallied in the game and pulled out a hard fought victory. Saint Xavier shot a blistering hot 58 percent from the field in the second half after shooting just 35 percent in the first half of action.
Saint Xavier travels to Joliet, Ill., to take on the University of Saint Francis Fighting Saints on Wednesday, February 6. The game is set for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
There are only four more regular season games left for the Cougars and the next home game will be “Senior Night” for SXU on Wednesday, February 13, against Purdue University – North Central at 7 p.m. Come on out and support your Cougars!
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