Senior Marco Samimy hit some big shots down the stretch on
Senior Marco Samimy hit some big shots down the stretch on
102
VS
OT
97
Saint Xavier
University of Saint Francis (Ill.)
Men's Basketball - Wed, Feb. 23, 2011

CHICAGO - Senior guard Marco Samimy (Peterson Woods, Ill./CICS-Northtown Academy) scored five of the team's final seven points to help Saint Xavier University hold on for a thrilling 102-97 overtime win over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) on "Senior Night" Wednesday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The victory was instrumental in giving the Cougars a chance of hosting a first-round playoff game in next week's CCAC Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, March 2. Prior to tonight's game, SXU's two seniors, guards DeVon Chandler (Collinsville, Ill./Collinsville) and Samimy, were both honored for their contributions to the men's basketball program over the past four seasons.

Freshman guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) led Saint Xavier in the game finishing with 29 points and also racking up a game-best nine rebounds. Sophomore point guard Roosevelt Green (Markham, Ill./Tinley Park) also played well for the Cougars posting 23 points and game-high seven assists, while Samimy had a nice all-around effort with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Freshman forward Mark Peters (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) provided Saint Xavier with a huge boost off the bench scoring 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the floor. Chandler also recorded 10 points, five assists and four steals for SXU. USF junior guard Billy Hubly finished with 30 points to lead the Fighting Saints Wednesday night.

The game was back-and-forth in the opening minutes, but Hubly got hot from beyond the arc dropping 20 points, including six first-half three-pointers, to help the Fighting Saints take a 10-point lead late in the first half. However, the Cougars used a late surge in the final three minutes of the frame to cut the deficit in half and go into the break trailing by five, 41-36. Despite hitting two quick buckets and closing the gap to a point just under a minute into the second half, SXU went cold from the field for a brief stretch and USF capitalized by taking a 12-point lead, 53-41, with 16:34 remaining in regulation.

Again, the Cougars fought back and took their first lead since the 12-minute mark of the first half on a lay-up by Karp with nine minutes to play. The game was tight for the rest of regulation as missed free throws by Saint Xavier in the final minute gave the Fighting Saints a chance to tie the game on a jumper at the buzzer by sophomore forward Dan Dispenza. SXU led throughout the overtime period and went up by as many as eight points with Karp, Samimy and Green hitting big shots in the extra time to secure the victory.

Saint Xavier (17-12 overall/2-7 CCAC) wraps up its 2010-11 regular season slate with a road game against No. 1 ranked Robert Morris University (Ill.) on Saturday, February 26. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start at the Gentile Center in Chicago.