Men's Basketball - Sat, Mar. 1, 2008
CHICAGO - Despite 13 points apiece by senior guard Alok Aiyar (Hanover Park, Ill./UIC/Bartlett) and junior guard Amir Resic (Prijedor, Bosnia/East-West/Mather), the No. 21 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team had trouble keeping pace with the hot shooting and tough rebounding of visiting Olivet Nazarene University falling 74-57 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) finale for both teams Saturday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Despite the fact that it was "Senior Day" at SXU, it was Olivet Nazarene senior center Phil French who stole the show with game-highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds. The loss means that ONU will pass the Cougars in the league standings and finish in second place with an 8-2 mark, while Saint Xavier will fall to third at 7-3.
Sophomore guard Julian Scott (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest) had a solid all-around game with eight points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Junior guard Paris VonShae Davis (Maywood, Ill./St. Joseph) came off the bench to score eight points for Saint Xavier. The Cougars struggled shooting the ball late in the first half and ONU closed out the final seven minutes on a 22-9 scoring run to take a 41-26 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Tigers built their lead up to 27 points, 58-31, with 13:29 left to play in regulation and the deficit proved to be too big for a rally attempt. The Cougars shot 34 percent (21-for-61) in the game and were out-rebounded, 43-24. Olivet Nazarene shot 56 percent (28-for-50) from the field, including 10-for-19 (53 percent) from three-point range, to claim the road victory.
Saint Xavier (23-7 overall/7-3 CCAC) takes the No. 3 seed into next week's CCAC Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, March 4. The Cougars will face No. 6 seed Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on Tuesday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Game time has yet to be determined.