Men's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 6, 2008
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Despite 16 points from junior guard Amir Resic (Prijedor, Bosnia/East-West/Mather), the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team lost a heartbreaker Thursday night falling, 78-74, to Olivet Nazarene University in the semifinals of the 2008 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Men's Basketball Tournament in Bourbonnais, Ill. ONU got a huge outing from senior center Phil French, who finished with game-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds toward the winning effort. The Tigers advance to Saturday's championship game to face No. 1 seed and No. 8 ranked Robert Morris College.
Senior guard Alok Aiyar (Hanover Park, Ill./UIC/Bartlett) scored 15 points for the Cougars Thursday in addition to his five rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Paris VonShae Davis (Maywood, Ill./St. Joseph) provided a lift off the bench by finishing with 14 points. Saint Xavier led for nearly the entire first half and built as high as a nine-point advantage, but Olivet Nazarene crept back and tied the game at the break, 32-32. The second half was extremely tight with nine ties and 10 lead changes. With just over five minutes remaining in regulation, Resic hit a jumper to give the Cougars a 67-66 lead. It proved to be SXU's last lead of the ballgame. Olivet connected on some big shots and converted nine of their final 11 free throw attempts to keep the Cougars at bay.
Saint Xavier (24-8 overall/7-3 CCAC) has an outside chance of earning an at-large bid to participate in the 2008 NAIA Men's Basketball National Championships in Kansas City, Mo., beginning March 19. The NAIA will release the seeds and pairings for the National Tournament early next week.