CHICAGO – Limiting the visiting Crusaders to just 25 points in the opening frame, the No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team used a strong first half performance to set the stage for a 91-78 victory over No. 17 Madonna University (Mich) on Bob Hallberg Court Friday night in the first day of the two-day SXU Thanksgiving Classic at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) led all scorers with 27 points for the Cougars, while junior guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) had a great outing in his first action of the season after returning from injury with 19 points on 5-for-8 shooting, including three three-pointers.
Senior point guard Michael Simpson (North Chicago, Ill./Cardinal Stritch/North Chicago) also had a nice night for Saint Xavier just missing a double-double with 18 points and game-high nine assists. The Cougars shot 56 percent (32-for-57) from the field for the game. The big first half was integral as the SXU defense led to a poor first half shooting performance by the Crusaders connecting on just 33 percent (11-for-33) of its shot attempts before the break. Madonna got a great effort from senior guard Travis Schuba with 19 points, including five three-pointers.
Saint Xavier (5-2 overall/0-1 CCAC) completes the SXU Classic on Saturday, November 30, with a game against Indiana University-East. The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at the Shannon Center.