CHICAGO – Led by another huge effort by senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team used a strong first half performance to take down No. 21 Saint Ambrose University (Iowa), 99-73, on the second day of the 2013 SXU Midwest Tournament on Bob Hallberg Court at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (12-2 overall) led nearly the entire game and used a 20-7 run to close out the final five minutes of the first half and build a 53-31 halftime lead. Hot shooting (57 percent) and strong defense (10 SAU turnovers) helped fuel SXU's strong opening frame. Karp led all scorers with 38 points connecting on 10 of his 15 shot attempts (four three-pointers) and sinking all 14 of his free throw tries.
Junior guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) had a stellar all-around outing for the Cougars Sunday turning in 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Sophomore forward Josh Mawhorr (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) also played well for Saint Xavier totaling six points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals. For the game, SXU shot an impressive 57 percent (37-for-65), including 44 percent from the three-point arc (10-for-23). The Cougars were tough on the boards as well with 41 rebounds compared to just 29 for the Fighting Bees. SXU extended its lead to as many as 35 points (92-57) with around seven minutes left to play in regulation. Saint Ambrose was led in scoring by junior guard Nick Frazier with 24 points.
Saint Xavier (12-2 overall/4-1 CCAC) heads to the tournament championship set for 6 p.m. on Monday, December 23. The Cougars take on the winner of tonight's late game between No. 14 ranked Bellevue University (Neb.) and Aquinas College (Mich.).