CHICAGO - Senior point guard Michael Simpson (North Chicago, Ill./Cardinal Stritch/North Chicago) and junior guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) combined for 47 points to help lead No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University to a 93-75 win over Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) men's basketball play Wednesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Simpson finished the game with 24 points and five steals for the Cougars, while Krieger dropped 23 points and five assists on the visiting Panthers. Prior to the game, senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) was honored for recently breaking SXU's career scoring record that has stood since 1978 when Mike Walaczek wrapped up his impressive playing career with 2,517 points.
Karp finished the night with 17 points and 12 rebounds and extended his record-setting career total to 2,547 career points. Senior guard Munir Smith (Hazel Crest, Ill./Mooseheart) also posted double figures in scoring for Saint Xavier with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. The Cougars had another great shooting night hitting 52 percent (32-for-62) of their shots from the field. It was not just the offense that played well though with the SXU defense racking up 11 steals and helping create 20 PUNC turnovers. The Cougars scored 21 points off the Panther turnovers. SXU moved up to No. 4 nationally when the NAIA released its latest NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Top 25 Poll on Tuesday afternoon. It is the highest national ranking for the team since Feb. 18, 2003, when the Cougars were ranked No. 3 overall.
Saint Xavier (17-2 overall/7-1 CCAC) heads to Bourbonnais, Ill., on Saturday, January 18, for a key conference match-up against Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at McHie Arena.