Joliet, Ill. - A three-point attempt by sophomore point guard Roosevelt Green (Markham, Ill./Tinley Park) did not find the bottom of the net and the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team lost a heart-breaker, 70-69, to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Thursday night at the Patrick J. Sullivan Center in Joliet, Ill. The Cougars (15-9 overall/1-4 CCAC) trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half, but used a 30-11 scoring run to take a one-point lead with just three minutes to play in the game. Unfortunately for SXU, both teams went cold from the field over the final three minutes of play, but the Fighting Saints sank a pair of free throws with 1:28 remaining to snag the one-point victory. It was the fourth straight loss for the Cougars.
Freshman guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) led Saint Xavier in scoring with 24 points in addition to his six rebounds. Senior guard DeVon Chandler (Collinsville, Ill./Collinsville) came off the bench to have a huge night dropping 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the floor. Green also chipped in 11 points for the Cougars. Things looked bleak early on for SXU as USF jumped out to an early 18-4 lead. Despite closing the gap to two points with five minutes remaining in the opening half, the Cougars struggled to finish the frame on a high note and trailed 37-26 at the break. The Fighting Saints would extend their double-digit advantage early in the second half and led by 18 points, 57-39, with 12:23 left to play in the game. Chandler then went on a tear scoring 18 of the team's next 30 points to help give SXU a one-point lead, 69-68, with three minutes remaining. The Cougars had a chance to win the game earning the final possession of the game following a turnover by St. Francis with 18 seconds to play, but could not convert its final three-point attempt.
Saint Xavier (15-9 overall/1-4 CCAC) hosts No. 1 ranked Robert Morris University (Ill.) in conference play on Saturday, February 5. The big CCAC match-up is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Shannon Center in Chicago.