Milwaukee, Wis. - A late 13-6 scoring run over the final three minutes of play helped give No. 7 ranked and No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University a 73-59 victory over Roosevelt University (Ill.) in Friday's semifinals game of the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Men's Basketball Tournament at Panella Court in Milwaukee, Wis. The trio of senior guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), senior point guard Michael Simpson (North Chicago, Ill./Cardinal Stritch/North Chicago) and junior guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) were huge combining for 54 of SXU's 73 points. The Cougars advance to face No. 1 ranked and seeded host, Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), in Saturday's 3 p.m. championship in Milwaukee.
Karp led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Krieger was right behind him with 18 points, including three three-pointers. Simpson had a double-double effort of 16 points and game-best 10 assists. Krieger also achieved a career milestone in Friday's game going over the 1,000-point threshold. As a team, Saint Xavier shot a stellar 51 percent (30-for-59) from the field and did a great job distributing the basketball behind 16 assists. SXU also took care of the ball committing just nine turnovers in the game. Sophomore forward Josh Mawhorr (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) also had a solid outing for the Cougars with nine points and seven rebounds.
The game went back-and-forth in the opening minutes and was knotted at 20-20 with seven minutes left to play in the first half. However, a three-pointer by Karp sparked a 13-5 run to close out the frame and SXU took a 33-25 lead into halftime. The Cougars built a double-digit edge early in the second half, but the Lakers rallied back and tied the game again, 39-39, with 14 minutes to play. A lay-up by Karp with 6:10 left capped a 16-6 run and put SXU in control late in the game. Roosevelt cut the lead to six, 57-51, with four minutes remaining, but Krieger answered the call with back-to-back three-pointers to help secure the victory.
Saint Xavier (28-4 overall/16-3 CCAC) advances to Saturday's CCAC Tournament championship at Panella Court in Milwaukee. The Cougars take on No. 1 ranked Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) at 3 p.m. after CSU defeated No. 19 ranked Robert Morris University (Ill.), 79-71, in Friday's other semifinal match-up.