Arlington Heights, Ill. - Behind another monster performance by senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team pulled away late in the second half for a 96-77 upset road win over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival No. 8 Robert Morris University (Ill.) Saturday afternoon at the RMU Athletic & Convocation Center in Arlington Heights, Ill. Karp finished with a career-best 42 points and 13 rebounds in the game and shot an amazing 75 percent from the floor (15-for-20). SXU shot an impressive 80 percent (20-for-25) from the field in second-half action to propel the big road victory.
Senior point guard Michael Simpson
(North Chicago, Ill./Cardinal Stritch/North Chicago) had a nice game for the Cougars as well finishing with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Jack Krieger
(Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) provided a nice spark off the bench for Saint Xavier with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists, while sophomore forward Josh Mawhorr
(Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) completed the double-digit scorers for SXU with 11 points, nine rebounds and team-high six assists. The huge second-half shooting performance by the Cougars overshadowed a rough first half that saw the visitors hit just 27 percent (11-for-41) of their shot attempts leading to a 45-35 halftime deficit.
The game was back and forth over the first 10 minutes of action with SXU taking the largest lead, 22-17, on a pair of free throws by Simpson at the 9:16 mark of the half. Robert Morris used a 19-7 run over the final six minutes of the frame to build its 10-point edge at halftime. A three-point play by Simpson with 15:19 to play in the game capped a 17-7 run for the Cougars and tied the game at 52-52. SXU carried the momentum the rest of the way going on a 13-3 run over the next four minutes to go ahead by double figures on a pair of Krieger free throws. The Eagles cut the deficit to five, 70-65, with just over nine minutes remaining, but the Cougars responded with 10 unanswered points to pull away for good. SXU made the most of its free throw opportunities with 27 RMU fouls helping lead to 38 free throw attempts and 30 points from the charity stripe.
Saint Xavier (9-2 overall/3-1 CCAC) continues conference play on Thursday, December 19, with another tough road match-up. The Cougars take on Roosevelt University (Ill.) at the Goodman Center in Chicago in a 6 p.m. game.