Men's Basketball - Wed, Jan. 14, 2009
CHICAGO - A three-point attempt at the buzzer by senior guard Amir Resic (Prijedor, Bosnia/East-West/Mather) fell just short as the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to No. 10 ranked Robert Morris College (Ill.), 86-84, in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opener for both teams Wednesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (10-10 overall/0-1 CCAC) scored 49 points in the first half and led by 12, 49-37 at the break, but shot just 39 percent (12-for-31) in the second half allowing the Eagles an opportunity to rally. Each team had five players score in double figures in Wednesday's game.
Senior forward Scott Campbell (Detroit, Mich./Waubonsee CC/MacKenzie) led all scorers with 20 points for Saint Xavier in just his second starting assignment of the season. He also finished with team-bests of seven rebounds and five assists. Senior guard Paris Davis (Maywood, Ill./St. Joseph) finished with 14 points for the Cougars, while senior guard Nick Wirth (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere) chipped in 13 points off the bench. Resic scored 12 points and sophomore guard Mike Johnstone (Mount Greenwood, Ill./St. Laurence) had 11 to wrap up the double-figure scorers for SXU. Senior forward Marcus Hall led Robert Morris with 19 points, while senior center Jeff Wilson finished with 11 points and game-high 11 rebounds. The Eagles shot an impressive 62 percent (32-for-52) from the field in the game, including a 58 percent clip (7-for-12) from beyond the three-point arc.
Saint Xavier controlled nearly the entire first half and led by as many as 12 points. Campbell had a huge first half shooting 6-for-9 from the field for 16 points in addition to his five rebounds and three assists. Trailing by 12 at halftime, RMC started the first four minutes of the second half on a 9-0 run to closed to within three, 49-46. However, back-to-back three-pointers by Johnstone and sophomore guard Dan Palombizio (Michigan City, Ind./New Buffalo) put the Cougars back up by nine points, 56-49, with 14 minutes to play in regulation. SXU increased its lead to as many as 13 points, 61-48, at the 12:19 mark of the half before the Eagles started their rally. With 4:20 to play, RMC closed to within two, 77-75, on a lay-up by Wilson and tied the game, 80-80, just over a minute later on a three-point play by senior guard Tim Baker. The Eagles built a five-point lead, 86-81, with 16 seconds remaining before a three-pointer by Wirth closed the gap to two. After a pair of missed free throws by RMC, SXU had a chance to tie or win on a last-second shot attempt, but Resic's three-point shot fell just short. Saint Xavier (10-10 overall/0-1 CCAC) returns to action on Saturday, January 24, with a conference road game against Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB). The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (eastern) start in South Bend, Ind.