CHICAGO - Sophomore guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) scored 24 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field, but it was not enough as No. 21 Saint Xavier University fell to Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), 79-69, on the road Thursday night at Panella Court in Milwaukee, Wis. The Cougars (14-5 overall) shot well from the floor hitting 49 percent (28-for-57) of their shot attempts, but could not match the Wolves' offensive production. CSU shot 53 percent (25-for-47) from the field, including a blistering 73 percent (8-for-11) from beyond the three-point arc. Fouls also told the tale as SXU committed 27 fouls, which helped give the Wolves 21 points at the charity stripe on 35 attempts. Saint Xavier visited the free-throw line just 12 times.
Senior guard Ed Gilgenbach (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac) also had a nice game for the Cougars finishing with 16 points and a team-best five assists. The game went back-and-forth over the opening 10 minutes before Cardinal Stritch used a 13-2 run to build a double-digit advantage, 34-21, late in the first half. Big baskets by Karp, Gilgenbach and sophomore guard Munir Smith (Hazel Crest, Ill./Mooseheart) over the final three minutes of the frame allowed SXU to cut it to four points, 36-32, at the break. It did not take long for CSU to rebuild its double-digit advantage though in the second half, and within the first six minutes, SXU trailed by 15 points, 52-37. The Cougars cut the deficit to eight points a few times, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the way. Cardinal Stritch's sophomore guard Derek Semenas was the game's leading scorer finishing with 27 points, while hitting all five of his three-point attempts on the night.
Saint Xavier (14-5 overall/1-0 CCAC) returns home for a non-conference battle with Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) on Saturday, January 21. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip-off at the Shannon Center in Chicago.