CHICAGO - Senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) led five players in double figures Saturday with 31 points as the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team rolled to a 108-79 victory over Goshen College (Ind.) to open the 2013 SXU Midwest Tournament at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (11-2 overall) were dominant on the boards Saturday totaling 48 rebounds, including 21 on the offensive end, to the Maple Leafs' 28. With just over 12 minutes to play in the first half, SXU went on a 23-9 run over the game's next five minutes to pull away for good.
Senior point guard Michael Simpson (North Chicago, Ill./Cardinal Stritch/North Chicago) had another solid all-around performance with 14 points, five assists and three rebounds. Fellow senior guard Munir Smith (Hazel Crest, Ill./Mooseheart) was efficient in tallying a double-double of 13 points (6-of-7 shooting) and game-high 10 rebounds (six offensive). Freshman forward Matthew Wright (Jacksonville, Fla./Harvest Community) and sophomore forward Josh Mawhorr (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) both reached double figures for Saint Xavier with 11 and 10 points, respectfully. Additionally, Mawhorr dished out five assists to tie for the team and game lead. Goshen's guard Jerron Jamerson led four Maple Leaf players in double figures with 19 points. He also came down with a team-best six rebounds and blocked a pair of shots in 32 minutes of action.
The Cougars shot 51.3 percent for the game (40-for-78) including 16 three-pointers on 35 attempts (45.7 percent) to outpace Goshen, who shot 49.2 percent (30-for-61) for the contest. SXU has now won seven in a row, while scoring 90 or more points in all, but one game, during the streak. The Cougars had 12 different players score at least two points in Saturday's big win.
Saint Xavier (11-2 overall/4-1 CCAC) heads to the second day of the tournament and will take on No. 21 ranked Saint Ambrose University (Iowa) on Sunday, December 22. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip-off at the Shannon Center.