Men's Basketball - Fri, Nov. 27, 2009
CHICAGO - Sophomore forward Zach Opheim (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) led the way with 12 points and shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field as 13 different Saint Xavier University players found the scoring column in an 80-72 win over Loyola University-New Orleans (La.) Friday evening at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The victory keeps the Cougars' overall record untarnished at 7-0 and is the best start in the last nine seasons for the program. The Wolfpack fall to 4-2 overall with Friday's loss.
Things did not look good early for Saint Xavier as Loyola-New Orleans jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the game's first four minutes. However, the Cougars settled down and tied the game, 13-13, on a lay-up by sophomore forward Dominique Harvey (Chicago, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor). The game would stay extremely tight over the next 10 minutes before SXU used a 9-2 scoring run, capped by a lay-up at the buzzer by junior guard Stan Mayfield (Snellville, Ga./McKendree University/Shiloh), to take a 38-31 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Cougars extended their lead to as many as 17 points, 50-33, early in the second half before the Wolfpack made their run. With 9:07 to play, Loyola-New Orleans cut the lead to seven points, 56-49, on a three-pointer by senior guard Torry Beaulieu. The Wolfpack closed to within four points, 62-58, with six minutes remaining before SXU went on a 13-3 run to help put the game away.
Sophomore guard Mike Johnstone (Mount Greenwood, Ill./St. Laurence) finished with nine points off the bench for the Cougars, while junior forward Jake Listebarger (Harvard, Ill./McHenry County College/Richmond-Burton) posted eight points and team-best seven rebounds. SXU played solid defensively as well finishing with 13 steals to help force 21 Wolfpack turnovers in the game. Loyola-New Orleans junior forward Ryan Brock led all scorers with 21 points.
Saint Xavier (7-0 overall) hosts Huntington University (Ind.) on Saturday, November 28, in a 3 p.m. match-up of two undefeated teams. The Foresters bring a perfect 8-0 record into the Shannon Center.