Notre Dame, Ind. – Behind impressive nights by sophomore guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind/Valparaiso) and junior point guard Roosevelt Green (Markham, Ill./Tinley Park), the No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball gave University of Notre Dame (Ind.) all it could handle Tuesday night dropping the game, 90-72, in a season-opening exhibition for both teams at Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. Karp finished with 25 points and nine rebounds on the night, while Green also shined for the Cougars with 19 points and seven assists. SXU kept the game tight for most of the first half and held a 14-13 lead, its only lead of the night, six minutes into play.
"I thought this was a great learning experience for our team," said Saint Xavier University men's basketball coach Tom O'Malley. "Brad and Rosie really stepped up their play and made some huge shots for us. It was a great atmosphere and a nice way to kick off the new season. If our guys bring this level of intensity to every game this year, we are going to be a tough team to beat."
ND graduate student Tim Abromaitis was difficult to contain Tuesday night dropping 28 points and nine rebounds on the Cougars. Junior forward Jack Cooley also had a nice outing for the Fighting Irish with a double-double performance of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Notre Dame took advantage of plenty of free-throw opportunities with 36 trips to the charity stripe compared to just eight for Saint Xavier. The trips paid off as the Fighting Irish logged 25 of their 90 points at the line. The Cougars did an excellent job of keeping their composure and taking care of the basketball throughout the game committing just 10 turnovers in the contest. Despite the size differential, SXU held its own in the paint as well with 38 of the team's 72 points coming in the lane.
"I thought that was a good team for us to play," said Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey. "They're older, they play together and they really run their stuff. They really challenged us, and we couldn't guard them sometimes. We weren't very good defensively at times, and we had some good possessions. It was a good learning tape for us."
Saint Xavier officially opens its regular season on Friday, November 4, participating in the Westminster Tipoff Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Cougars open the event with a 3 p.m. (Mountain) game against University of Montana-Western. SXU then takes on host Westminster on Saturday, November 5, at 7 p.m. (Mountain).
Click here to see the post-game press conference by Notre Dame's head coach Mike Brey