Men's Basketball - Tue, Dec. 23, 2008
CHICAGO - Despite a team-leading 23 points and eight rebounds by senior forward Rob Broughton (Elizabethtown, Ky./Gannon University), the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team fell to No. 21 ranked University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS), 81-74, Tuesday afternoon at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (9-6 overall) trailed by just two points, 35-33, at the half and led by as many as seven points, 59-52, with just over eight minutes to play in regulation before the Prairie Stars went on an 18-4 run over the next four minutes to put the game away.
Broughton shot an impressive 10-for-16 (63 percent) from the field in Tuesday's game. In addition to Broughton, junior guard Nick Wirth (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere) finished with 11 points and five steals, while junior point guard Julian Scott (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest) and senior forward Scott Campbell (Detroit, Mich./Waubonsee CC/MacKenzie) each chipped in 10 points. Senior guards Nick Livas and Jeremy Winters both had big games for the Prairie Stars with Livas posting 26 points and 10 rebounds and Winters tacking on 24 points and 12 boards.
UIS shot 57 percent (28-for-49) from the field and out-rebounded SXU, 41-23, in the game. However, the Cougar defense did a good job of helping to force 30 Prairie Star turnovers with 15 of them coming off of Cougar steals. SXU shot 45 percent (28-for-62) from the field Tuesday and had 22 turnovers. The Cougars had a chance to make it a single-possession game with 26 seconds to play in regulation and trailing by just four points, 78-74. However, after stealing the inbounds pass from UIS, SXU turned the ball over on their resulting possession to end its hopes of a late rally.
Saint Xavier (9-6 overall) takes a break for the Christmas holiday and then heads to Florida to play in a two-day tournament hosted by Northwoods University (Fla.) on Monday, December 29. The Cougars will take on NCAA Division III foe Illinois Wesleyan University Monday at 5 p.m. eastern time in Florida.