CHICAGO – Behind game-highs of 35 points and 11 rebounds by sophomore guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team won an overtime thriller with Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival Olivet Nazarene University, 90-87, Tuesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Karp shot an amazing 13-for-18 (72 percent) from the field, including a 5-for-6 clip from beyond the three-point arc. Junior point guard Roosevelt Green (Markham, Ill./Tinley Park) also played well for SXU finishing with 18 points and eight assists. With the victory, the Cougars improve to 16-5 overall and 2-0 in the CCAC, while the Tigers fall to 11-9 this season and 1-1 in the conference standings.
Senior guard Ed Gilgenbach (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac) also scored in double figures for Saint Xavier Tuesday with 14 points to go along with his six rebounds and four assists. Olivet Nazarene had five players score in double figures led by junior guard Ben Worner with 22 points. With seven minutes left in the first half, the Cougars used an 11-1 scoring run to build a 33-23 lead and would carry a 40-32 advantage into the locker room at the half. The Tigers erased the deficit over the first seven minutes and built a seven-point lead of their own, 68-61, with eight minutes to play in regulation. The Cougars would chip away at the deficit and a three-pointer by Karp would tie things up, 74-74, with just over three minutes left.
The game went back-and-forth over the last three minutes of regulation and a lay-up by Gilgenbach with nine seconds remaining to tie the game, 79-79. ONU would miss a three-point attempt from the top of the key in the final seconds to send the game to overtime. The Cougars quickly built a seven-point lead in the extra frame, 87-80, behind big baskets from freshman guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North), Green and Karp. A lay-up by Olivet senior forward Brandon Streets with 30 seconds left would cut the lead to two, 87-85. However, SXU would get key free throws down the stretch from Krieger and Karp to seal the overtime victory.
Saint Xavier (16-5 overall/2-0 CCAC) will look to win its third straight conference game on Saturday, January 28, against Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB). The road game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. (eastern) start.