Milwaukee, Wis. - Senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, but the No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the 2013-14 season losing, 82-74, to No. 1 ranked and defending national champion Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in a marquee Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) match-up Wednesday night at Panella Court in Milwaukee, Wis. The Cougars (4-1 overall/0-1 CCAC) had an uncharacteristic rough night shooting the ball hitting just 32 percent (25-for-76) of their shot attempts, including just two of their 16 three-point tries. Foul trouble also hurt SXU with 23 fouls leading to 33 CSU trips to the charity stripe and 21 points off free throws for the hosts.
Junior forward Andre Arrington
(Chicago, Ill./Simpson College/Forman) provided nice production off the bench for Saint Xavier with 12 points and five rebounds. Senior point guard Michael Simpson
(North Chicago, Ill./Cardinal Stritch/North Chicago) also chipped in 11 points, but struggled shooting the ball against his former team hitting just one of his 18 shot attempts on the night. Sophomore forward Josh Mawhorr
(Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) was solid on the boards for the Cougars with 10 rebounds to go along with his seven points. Junior guard Tony Smit led the Wolves with 26 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 clip from the free throw line.
Cardinal Stritch was in control of the game early leading, 20-11, eight minutes into the first half. A free throw by Karp tied the game at 24-24 and capped a 13-4 run for the Cougars with 7:38 to play in the first half. The game stayed tight for nearly the rest of the frame before CSU closed out the final 1:35 with five straight points to take a 44-39 lead into halftime. Saint Xavier rallied back and tied the game again, 60-60, midway through the second half on a lay-up by Karp. The game stayed tight down the stretch, but Smit went on a tear during the final 3:23 of regulation scoring all 12 points for the Wolves, including 10 straight free throws, to secure the win.
Saint Xavier (4-1 overall/0-1 CCAC) heads out west to take on Arizona Christian College in a non-conference match-up on Friday, November 22. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. (mountain) start in Phoenix, Arizona.