CHICAGO – Sophomore guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) finished with a career-best 38 points, including 22 in the first half, to help lead No. 22 ranked Saint Xavier University to an 85-79 win over Siena Heights University (Mich.) Wednesday night as part of the 2011 SXU Men's Basketball Midwest Tournament at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (11-3 overall) are in the midst of a 10-game win streak with their last loss coming on November 11 to Dordt College (Iowa) by a score of 71-61. Karp also led SXU on the boards with a game-best 13 rebounds on the night.
Senior guard Ed Gilgenbach (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac) also had a nice all-around outing for the Cougars with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals; while sophomore forward Mark Peters (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) scored in double figures as well with 10 points to go along with eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Cecil Clark also had a monster game for the Saints nearly matching Karp's effort with 38 points and 11 rebounds. The game was pretty tight in the first half, but SXU was able to string together a late run and took a 45-39 lead into halftime.
The Cougars pushed the lead up to 11 points, 56-45, early in the second half behind some big shots by Karp and Gilgenbach. Siena Heights would storm back though and took a one-point lead, 58-57, with just over 13 minutes remaining. However, a lay-up by Peters at the 10:47 mark of the second half gave the Cougars back the lead for good, 61-60. The Saints would keep it close all the way to the final minute, but SXU was able to maintain its lead the rest of the way and hit key free throws down the stretch.
Saint Xavier (11-3 overall) wraps up play in the tournament on Thursday, December 22, with a match-up against Mount Marty College (S.D.). The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at the Shannon Center.