Men's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 1, 2007
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Even though Olivet Nazarene University beat Saint Xavier University in both conference regular-season meetings this season, the Cougars won the game that really counted. Behind a game-high 25 points from sophomore forward Adam Gregoriou (Burbank, Ill./Brother Rice) just days after being named a 2007 All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) first team selection, the No. 3 seeded Saint Xavier University men's basketball team went to McHie Arena in Bourbonnais, Ill., and upset No. 2 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), 85-63, in the 2007 CCAC Tournament semi-finals Thursday. The Cougars advance to Saturday's championship game and will face No. 1 seeded and No. 1 ranked Robert Morris College (Ill.).
Besides the big night for Gregoriou, three other SXU players scored in double figures in Thursday's semi-finals victory. Senior guard Shawn Monroe (Chicago, Ill./Lindblom) posted 16 points and six assists, while freshman guard Julian Scott (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest) tallied 15 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. In addition, senior guard Ken McCormick (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) shot 5-for-7 from the field en route to a 14-point outing for the Cougars. Saint Xavier shot well the entire night hitting 56 percent of its shots from the field (27-for-48). SXU also took care of the ball committing just nine turnovers in the ballgame.
Midway through the first half, the Cougars took an eight-point lead, 20-12, on a free- throw by Monroe. Over the final 10 minutes of the first half, Saint Xavier slowly built its lead into double digits and led by as many as 17 points, 42-25, with just under two minutes to play in the half. Leading 42-28 at the half, ONU came out strong and cut the lead to 11, 47-36, in the first couple minutes of play. However, it was as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way. SXU used a 16-6 run over the game's next six minutes to build a 21-point lead and put the game out of reach for Olivet Nazarene. The victory also secured the Cougars their 10th straight 20-win season all under current head coach Tom O'Malley.
Saint Xavier (20-10 overall/5-5 CCAC) will now face Robert Morris College (Ill.) on Saturday, March 3, for the CCAC Championship at the Gentile Center in Chicago. The game time for Saturday's match-up has not yet been released. The winner will receive an automatic bid to participate in the 2007 NAIA Men's Basketball National Championships at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., beginning on March 14.