Men's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 4, 2010
CHICAGO - A three-pointer by freshman point guard Roosevelt Green (Markham, Ill./Tinley Park) with 4.3 seconds remaining in regulation gave No. 3 seeded Saint Xavier University a thrilling 60-59 victory over No. 2 seed and No. 21 ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in the semifinals of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Men's Basketball Tournament Thursday night at McHie Arena in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Tigers had a chance to tie or win the game in the final four seconds, but both of their jumpers fell short giving the Cougars the one-point decision. It is the second straight time the Cougars have upset the higher ranked Tigers after winning 80-77 back on February 9. SXU now moves on to face No. 1 seed and No. 14 ranked Robert Morris University (Ill.) in Saturday's CCAC Tournament Championship.
Sophomore forward Phil Riggs (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) led the Cougars in scoring Thursday with 13 points and also pulled down a team-best tying six rebounds. Senior guards Larry Pikes (Richton Park, Ill./Alaska-Anchorage/Blackhawk East/Rich South) and Julian Scott (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest) each finished with 12 points for Saint Xavier. The Cougar defense was tough all night holding the Tigers to just 29 percent (18-for-63) shooting from the field. Senior forward Tyler Wallenfang led Olivet Nazarene with 20 points, including a 10-for-12 clip from the free-throw line. SXU led nearly the entire first half, but could not build a lead larger than seven points. ONU rallied late in the first frame and the Cougars took a two-point advantage, 30-28, into the halftime break. Saint Xavier built a nine-point lead early in the second half, but the Tigers fought back again and tied the game, 47-47, with 9:23 to play. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way. Olivet went ahead by two, 59-57, after split free throws by Wallenfang with 33 seconds remaining, which set up Green's late-game heroics.
Saint Xavier (22-9 overall/7-3 CCAC) advances to Saturday's CCAC Tournament Championship to face No. 1 seed and No. 14 ranked Robert Morris University (Ill.). The game will take place at the Gentile Center in Chicago with a 7 p.m. tip-off. The winner earns an automatic berth into the 2010 NAIA National Tournament, which begins on March 16 in Kansas City, Mo.