Men's Basketball - Wed, Feb. 11, 2009
CHICAGO - Trinity Christian College missed two three-point attempts in the final six seconds and Saint Xavier University held on to claim a 64-61 victory in non-conference NAIA men's basketball action Wednesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (14-12 overall) used tough defensive pressure throughout the game to generate 17 steals and scored 26 of its 64 points off Troll turnovers putting an end to TCC's eight-game win streak. Trinity Christian finished the game with 22 turnovers and falls to 18-7 overall this season.
Senior forward Scott Campbell (Detroit, Mich./Waubonsee CC/MacKenzie) led SXU with 18 points, while junior guard Larry Pikes (Richton Park, Ill./Rich South) had a solid outing as well with 12 points and game-highs of 10 rebounds and five steals. Senior forward Rob Broughton (Elizabethtown, Ky./Gannon University) also scored in double figures for the Cougars with 15 points. Senior forward Kurt Gruppen led the Trolls in scoring Wednesday with 18 points and was the only TCC player to score in double figures in the game. SXU shot 48 percent (28-for-59) from the field and had just 11 turnovers in the game to claim the victory.
Trinity Christian controlled the game early on and building a 12-6 lead in the opening seven minutes. TCC led by as many as 10 points with just over six minutes to play before halftime. However, 12 turnovers plagued the Trolls throughout the first frame and Saint Xavier capitalized with seven steals and 12 points off turnovers to cut the lead to one, 31-30, at the break. In the second half, the Cougars continued its defensive pressure and built a 12-point advantage, 51-39, with 11 minutes to play in regulation. However, with 4:34 to play and SXU holding a 10-point lead, TCC went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to two, 59-57, with two minutes remaining. A three-point play by Broughton with exactly one minute left pushed Saint Xavier's lead back up to five, 62-57. Unfortunately for SXU, poor free throw shooting in the closing seconds gave the Trolls a number of opportunities to tie the game, but TCC was unable to take advantage.
Saint Xavier (14-12 overall/3-2 CCAC) continues its home stand with a big Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) match-up against rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) on Saturday, February 14. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start and former Cougar standout Mark Telander (2000-04), a two-time NAIA All-American out of Brother Rice High School in Chicago, will have his jersey retired during a halftime ceremony.