CHICAGO – Sophomore guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) looked sharp finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University to a 70-60 victory over Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) in NAIA men's basketball action Wednesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Sophomore forward Mark Peters (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) also had an impressive performance for the Cougars finishing with 21 points and five rebounds. SXU led by eight, 35-27, at the break and then shot 50 percent (13-for-26) in the second half to secure the 10-point win in its home opener.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 9-4 lead in the first four minutes of play, but the Crimson Wave fought back and tied the game, 14-14, with 11:31 remaining in the first half. The game stayed close until Saint Xavier used a 10-0 run late in the frame to help build its eight-point halftime lead. Karp scored four of the team's 10 points during the run. A lay-up by Peters nearly seven minutes into the second half gave SXU its largest lead of the game, 49-36; but CCSJ would still not go away and closed to within four, 53-49, less than five minutes later. Some key baskets by Peters down the stretch kept the Crimson Wave at bay and the Cougars built the lead back up to double figures in the closing minutes. Sophomore guard Roddy Richardson led Calumet College with 14 points.
Saint Xavier (1-2 overall) takes part in the Trinity Christian College Mitchell Classic this weekend in Palos Heights, Ill. The Cougars will take on Dordt College (Iowa) at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 11, and then wrap up play in the Classic with a Saturday 1 p.m. match-up against St. Louis Christian College (Mo.).