Men's Basketball - Wed, Dec. 17, 2008
CHICAGO - Despite 16 points and 11 rebounds by senior forward Rob Broughton (Elizabethtown, Ky./Gannon University), Saint Xavier University was stunned by Wilberforce University (Ohio), 78-76, in overtime in the semifinals of the 2008 SXU Midwest Men's Basketball Tournament Wednesday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (8-5 overall) had difficulty getting good looks at the basket and taking care of the ball shooting just 38 percent from the field (25-for-66) and committing 18 turnovers. With the loss, SXU will play in Thursday's third-place game against Mount Marty College (S.D.), while the Bulldogs (7-6 overall) advance to the championship game against University of Saint Francis (Ind.).
The Cougars trailed by nine points at halftime, 37-28, and had problems stopping Wilberforce in the post with 26 of the Bulldogs' 37 first-half points coming in the paint. In the second half, SXU trailed by as many as 14 points, but started a scoring run at the 11-minute mark and cut the deficit to three points, 51-48, with 8:06 to play on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Mike Johnstone (Mount Greenwood, Ill./St. Laurence). Although the Cougars never led in the second half, they kept things close and with 18 seconds left in regulation trailed by just two points, 68-66. A lay-up by junior point guard Julian Scott (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest) tied things up, 68-68, in the closing seconds and Saint Xavier played solid defense at the end to force the overtime period. However, SXU shot just 25 percent (2-for-8) from the field in the extra period and Wilberforce was able to hang on for the victory. The Cougars had their chances in the final seconds, but missed a free throw to tie the game and a jumper to win it in the final 12 seconds.
In addition to Broughton, senior forward Scott Campbell (Detroit, Mich./Waubonsee CC/MacKenzie) had a solid outing with 14 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Freshman point guard Ed Gilgenbach (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac) and Scott also scored in double figures for SXU with 12 and 10 points, respectively. The loss snaps a five-game win streak by Saint Xavier with its last defeat coming back on November 25 to No. 23 ranked University of Illinois-Springfield (89-85). In other tournament action Wednesday, junior guard Eric Ambrose posted a game-high 27 points to lead Viterbo University (Wis.) over East-West University (Ill.), 83-73. Senior center Brian Champine dropped 20 points on Algoma University (Ontario) as Siena Heights University (Mich.) picked up the big 101-51 victory. Also, sophomore forward DeJovaun Sawyer-Davis put Saint Francis (Ind.) in Thursday's championship leading all scorers with 31 points in an 83-73 win over Mount Marty (S.D.).
Saint Xavier (8-5 overall) wraps up play in its annual three-day Midwest Tournament on Thursday, December 18, taking on Mount Marty College (S.D.) in the third-place game at 4 p.m. at the Shannon Center. The other games on the tournament's final day include: East-West (Ill.) taking on Algoma (Ontario) at 12 p.m. in the seventh-place game, Viterbo (Wis.) and Siena Heights (Mich.) meeting up at 2 p.m. for the fifth-place game and Saint Francis (Ind.) matching up against Wilberforce (Ohio) for the SXU Midwest Tournament championship at 6 p.m.