Santa Barbara, Ca. – A dominant performance by junior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) with a double-double of 37 points and 13 rebounds led the Saint Xavier University men's basketball squad to a third-place finish in the Westmont College Tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif., Saturday evening after an 87-58 victory over William Jessup University (Calif.). A strong second-half performance by SXU outscoring the Warriors, 50-31, propelled the Cougars to the big win. With the victory, the Cougars have now won nine of their last 10 games with the lone loss coming last night against No. 7 ranked Westminster College of Salt Lake City (Utah), 73-70. Karp's 37-point effort was just two points shy of his career-high of 39 points set on February 4, 2012, against Robert Morris University (Ill.).
Sophomore guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) scored 17 points and corralled six boards on the evening for SXU. Senior guard Anthony Grant (Calumet City, Ill./Prairie State CC/Thornridge) had another nice game for Saint Xavier chipping in 11 points on the night. The Cougars started the game on a high note with a 14-0 run over the game's first four minutes to jump out to an early double-digit lead. WJU closed the gap over the next 11 minutes trimming it down to 30-25 with just over five minutes to go in the first half. However, Saint Xavier pushed the lead back up to double figures, 37-27, at the halftime intermission. SXU came out on fire in the second half quickly pushing its lead up to 20 points, 55-35, after an 18-8 run that spanned the first seven minutes of the half. The Cougars enhanced their lead to as many as 32 points, 81-49, on a Karp lay-up with less than four minutes remaining. Saint Xavier held firm on its big lead and cruised the rest of the way to the 29-point win over the Warriors.
Saint Xavier (12-4 overall/8-2 CCAC) takes a few days off before returning to action on Thursday, January 3, against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Purdue University-North Central (Ind.). The game is slated for a 7 p.m. (central) tip-off in La Porte, Ind.